The chattering classes seem to have reached yet another consensus. This one has to do with what happened to the Obama army after the 2008 election. Briefly the narrative arc is that we felt our job was done, and we pulled up stakes and went home.
That's not quite the way it was. We were sent home. We were undeniably weary, but we were ready to continue.
My wife and I labored for Obama in 2008, as well as this year. After the inauguration in 2009, we even held a healthcare house party, filling out forms and mailing them in, as requested. We received a polite thank-you, and then basically nothing.
The President at that time was in his post-partisan phase, cuddling up to the conservatives. His focus seemed to shift inside the Beltway. We saw the need for a permanent campaign that dealt with issues as well as elections, but the idea didn't seem to have any resonance inside the White House.
I asked my friend Wendell Potter, the healthcare reformer and author of Deadly Spin, what I should do, and he suggested I contact Health Care for America Now. I did, and in February 2010 wound up walking, as part of a group of eight, from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., in support of healthcare reform -- 135 miles, as I recall.
In Washington, we had a rally attended by a number of senators, including Majority Leader Harry Reid. The White House was conspicuously absent.
I'm very glad the President now seems to have accepted the concept of a permanent campaign. We were there all along, and so were the Republicans.
I think this was the greatest mistake of President Obama's first term.