Yes, We Did! Now What?

By Al Giordano




Plan some time with your loved ones, and if you can get it, some time off.

(And come to the Bloggers' Ball in Washington in January: TBA!)

(And if you plan on visiting South of the Border, maybe we'll see you there, too, in the coming months.)

But first...

As it began, so it begins anew.

Organize, organize, organize!

To that end, you - yes, you, community organizer, I mean you! - are cordially invited to join with:

Nate Silver

Sean Quinn

Tara Brownlee

Micah Sifry

And I.

Let's talk about:

What's Next for the Obama Movement?

The Organizing of the President

This Thursday.

In Chicago.

At 7 p.m.

Thursday, November 6th

At DePaul University

In the SAC building # 254

2320 N. Kenmore Ave.

Chicago, Illinois

Special thanks to the African and Black Diaspora Studies and the Women's Studies departments at DePaul University for sponsoring the event, and to Chicago Field Hands Nalani McLendon and Namita Goswami for heroic work of getting the hall on such short notice.

Here's the poster:

Download this poster-leaflet as a .pdf or Word .doc

Print it, copy it, email it, and get it in the hands of the best organizers you know.

Get it in their hands tonight. Or on Wednesday at the latest.

Send them the link to the video promo, above.

And on Thursday, we will begin to construct, from the bottom up, listening to each other, this new day that we fought so hard, leaving everything on the field, to make happen.

A special thanks to the Field Hands. (Become one if you haven't already: we have so much work yet to do.)

You kindled the spark into a flame that has now set the whole world afire.

Come back here tomorrow.

And the next day.

And the one after that.

Did you like this last chapter?

Wait 'til you see the next ones!

Keep coming back, and now lets make the dream come true.

See you in Chicago.

See you everywhere!

Update: The Field has learned that the Obama campaign is granting its staff organizers "four additional weeks of severance pay, health coverage through the end of the year, every reasonable accommodation to get us employed on the transition team, inauguration team, and in the administration afterward." (More details forthcoming today.) So, organizers: you now have the budget to make it to Chicago tomorrow. Hope to see you there. 



My sister is a freshman at DePaul and I am passing on the word to her to go see you guys.


Wish I could join you all in Chicago. Sounds like a great time.

As for now, I am enjoying my champagne and waiting to hear Obama speak.

Thank you, Al

I don't mean to get all sappy but honestly, if weren't for this community and your encouragement, I can truly say that I never would have taken the next step to getting really invovled.  Giving money is easy, volunteering is where the rubber really meets the road.

Thank you from me as well, Al.

I remember the very first time I read one of your posts:

"Barack Obama is the front runner and you better get used to it".

I think that was the title. It was during the primaries. You cut through the crap and were a lifeline to sanity during this entire process. You gave out enough Chicken Little vaccine to qualify for a grant from the World Health Organization!

From the bottom of my heart, on this incredible night, thank you Al, and thank you everyone else on this blog. What an incredible frigging journey.

To: Al Giordano

 I can not make it to Chicago this week, instead I will work with other CA fieldhands as soon as I return from a much needed rest to bring you to our state. Right now I need to speak from the heart.


Without you I would have given up long ago, you kept me motivated, calm and informed like no other outlet on the internet or MSM ever has. I will always be grateful for finding this site. I had a dream that you helped me, & so many of us see through to victory. You helped me find my voice, the bad writing skills did not matter but my passion did, I remember months ago the email you sent me with the words Respect, Empower, Include. Thank You.

You are the best, I will respect you for the rest of my life. The experiences shared, your intuition, but also the grumpiness too, for that.... I Thank You!

 Thanks to all the field hands and commenters here who have been there through the good and bad, I could go on and on with the names but you all know who you are. My life will never be the same because of all of you. I am going to organize, organize, organize beginning right in my own little neighborhood and of course here as well.

Thank You for letting me share this most historic important election with all of you.! Yes We Did!!! Oh and can you say, Nevada? I helped make that happen, along with so many of us!!

Woot, woot, off to the Carribbean for a short holiday, then the real hard work begins. Love you all!

Update: I predicted 340 EV's for BO I think we will surpass that.


thanks again for the blog and all you've done. i don't think i ever would have summoned the courage to volunteer and contributet this go-around if it weren't for all of those early spring posts of yours saying, "what have *you* done to help your candidate today?". It crystallized how I thought about the kind of change Obama has proposed (empowering us to take control of our blocks, cities, and country), and gave me some clear routes to make it happen.

I do hope that we keep this going. I hope the WI fieldhands will re-gather soon. Maybe we can all meet up in a few days, virtually or whatever. I love the idea of coming to Mexico :).

but, I think there's a real common sense of values from the field:

-no chicken littling

-go do something instead of whining

-productive help is better than hand wringing.

just a few things i've noticed from this group.

Congratulations to all of us that made it happen.



In Denver right now.

Downtown is going wild with an incessant racket of cars honking and cheering in support of Obama. Separate cliques of complete strangers—blacks, browns and whites—were hugging and slapping hands too. I'm totally going to D.C. in Jan.


you are one of the heroes of the election.


By the way, give my peeps some credit. Obama outperformed Kerry in Palm Beach County and among Jews nation-wide.

GA - This is interesting

This looks pretty official to me...the Sec. of State of GA confirming that up to 2 million early votes from the Atlanta area have not been included in the GA numbers.  That might explain why TPM and Kos have not yet called GA.  Enquiring minds want to know why...

White House Chief of Staff

Al, what do you make of Rahm Emanuel in this position, which is already noted in Wikipedia?

HOORAY! The Hoosiers DID prove you wrong!!!!





This native Hoosier can't possibly explain how incredible this truly is-- but WOW WOW WOW!!!!

Indiana Baby!

NBC calls it for Obama!  Astounding.  A state swinging 20 points in one cycle.  Wow.

NC seems to be Obama's as well and MO is anybody's guess.  Not happy with the Prop 8 numbers so far.  MN Senate coming down to the wire.

Ahhhhh.... the first stone is out of the way.

There's a shitload of moving that needs to be done. This is just where we need to be, Al - spot on. Great work showing us our strength with the AP reporter. Did he ever do anything else?

Lots more to be done, but the big block is in out of the way. The cabal that'd been leading got kicked out - that was a gimme. They'd done their good work, lots of wealth transfered, but had become too stinky. But then someone messed with the B-Team! Hillary's DLC coalition got the boot - and the Democrats learned they could fight. We got the big block out of the way.

Now we get to look at corporate power, Democratic style. And the military industrial complex ain't gonna give up too easy. But Blackwater's gotta go, the privatization of the war's gotta stop. Now we have to look at moderately crappy policies on women (concessions made to social justice prolife Catholics?) and some wiggling on gay rights (like, not supporting gay marriage.) And then there's the nukes (10 000 years is a very long time) and the 'clean coal' - sheesh.

Will the Employee Free Choice Act get passed? It better. Will we start getting more out of government? We better. Will Wall Street throw a tizzy - again? It might.

LOTS of stones in the path. The stream's been clogged and poisoned, but the big stone is out of the way.

EDIT: I have a bad feeling about Franken. But I also feel Coleman will be really circumscribed in the upcoming Congress.

Meanwhile, back in Salt Lake...

...early polls show 44% statewide for Obama.  If it ends up over 35% I'll be delighted.  And we dumped our Speaker of the House.

I just got back from the Radisson where, just as I got in the packed ballroom, the real screaming started as Obama hit 284.  I pushed to the front, in denial, staring bugeyed at the screen looking for holes in the data, weaknesses in the percentages, but as the numbers climbed confusion gave way to tears, and tears to roars of joy.

I phone banked yesterday and today for Colorado and then New Mexico, so you know how I felt when both got called for Obama.  All I could think of is that this is completely different, and I have no idea what to do next...but at least now I know I need to ask.  After I get some sleep, that is.

What a night.  What a change.

Oh yes we did!

Thank you Al and all the Field Hands for engaging this

Indian while I bid adieu. I had a great time here and apologize if I had offended anyone here by chance.

Now it is all in your hands and I will be watching from afar.

I sure hope to be back in 2012 hopefully to see our man win even a larger landslide mandate.

Thanks again for wonderful times.


Thanks to everyone

This has been the place to come to hear what is happening, to learn what needs to be done, to be inspired to take that knowledge and spread it out into the world.

Yes we can.  Yes we did.  Yes we will.

And damn, but change feels GOOD!


Thanks for sharing this with us.  You are family and there is no need for apologies although you are gererous to offer one.  It's been a great ride and you insight and knowledge never ceased to amaze me.

There's a story with those GA numbers folks.  It's not entirely clear the full scope yet but AP never did call either race there.  There is an issue with early votes not having been counted.


Sadie -

I'm right there with you -- American by birth, Hoosier by grace of God as they say. I've voted every which way in IN elections; never imagined I could see the day it went for Obama. I wish I could have been there to cavnass with you all in NW Indiana. Next time, I'll do a round with you!

Tara, Thank you for your kind words. I also learnt quite a lot

from the diverse field hands here. Of course, I had gotten into Al's nerves sometimes and have some rapped knuckles to show for it.  :)

Al, Kos is raising my hopes on GA.  Am I about to be disappointed ? (of course, VA was the icing for me, but then I  am a greedy pig)


Thanks Al,

for providing reassuring calm throughout some of the antics at dkos' righthand column:-) It helped this German to get a much clearer perspective on the proceedings.

Congratulations to Barack and the American people!

And thanks to Howard Dean who started the 50state strategy and made this big victory possible!


Next Stage-Go Local

We need progressive government all the way down the line. The Federal Government can't do it all, and shouldn't. People-powered state Government can do a lot to directly reach people who need help quicker than the Feds because of the shorter time it takes.

The big epic battle to defeat those awful anti-gay marriage amendments should be joined-now.

Election reform so that people can trust their vote is counted and that they are eligible to vote without having to meet impossible conditions.

Firing all of those Rove clones seeded in the Federal Government so that it can do a good job in a non-partisan manner. We also would gain a great deal of intelligence once we have booted the climate deniers, the heck-uva job Brownies, all the Regent Graduates and replaced them with sensible people who want to do a good job. BTW, can we stop with the bashing of Federal/State/Local Government employees? That's a legacy of the Southern Strategy too, when Government employees had to enforce those non-discriminatory laws to begin with.


Thank You Field Hands Family!

I am still shaking too much to type very well...

the first thing we did last night @ church when the election was called for our 44th POTUS was to thank The Ancestors on whose shoulders we all stand...

Hotel rooms are already booked in DC...

Love ya, AMK!!!


waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


Outstanding job Al.

Watching Indiana turn blue and Missouri still too close to count brings this insightful piece to my mind. You made a lot of sense with that and that is why I never gave up on Indiana. Fantastic analysis and rare good sense.

Illinois Volunteers Have Created "the Biggest Electoral College State"

President Obama

President Obama.  I just love repeating those words.  So perfect to wake up this morning, come first to The Field, this video.

Field hands, Al, I have no words, what Christi said. The Field has given new meaning to the words "we've got your back."  Millions of us saying to each other now, we've got your back.    Yes We Can.

24 Hour Viral Video Chart is back at No: 1.

The President Elect's speech is racing up the rankings.

And Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" is also back in the chart.

Only one negative Obama clip remains on the chart (falling off at No 20).



thanks, y'all

This site has really been an inspiration for me to get out there and participate in politics again. I know I've mentioned this a few times before, but for me one of the most satisfying things has been to bring my sons, 13 and 10, into the process as well and have them really get that democracy is a participatory game. 

And I know that's true across the country: millions of young people, old people, middle-aged people, who have rediscovered civic responsibility. In an age of turmoil, this is coming just in time.

Peace, brothers and sisters. 

Dear Al and Fieldhands

I just want to say thank you to all of you for the education, inspiration, and hope coming here has afforded me. Between this site and the Obama campaign I feel like I'm ready to take on challenges in my community that are important to me in a way I wasn't before.

I plan on sticking around but need to let you know how grateful I am to you all!

Thank you!


I am moving very slowly through my morning still trying to process what has happened.  As confident as I thought I was for this day to arrive, I now realize that there is probably no way to fully grasp the enormity of this wonderful new beginning...  Perhaps this is an element of "the morning after" that Al was illuding to.

I cannot adequately express my appreciation for this site.  Thank you for writing your thoughts and ideas down for us every day, Al.  As others have commented earlier, I have immense respect for your wisdom and look forward to your future analysis and inspiring work.

There is a donation in "the fund" this morning, for your 'dream guitar,' future journalistic endeavors, or whatever you may want to use it for.  You are very much appreciated.

Sincerely, Lisa (NY)


bail out mainstreet?



forgive me not knowing in advance...what's your take on naomi klein's bail out mainstreet program?

The two biggest thrills for me....

...of this entire election cycle (aside from last night, of course), was watching my young son shake Obama's hand at a town hall meeting, and having dinner with Al during his swing thru North Carolina.


Reading this blog and following the advice given has helped me tremendously when faced with  challenging moments during this campaign season. Thank you Al.

This day...

...would have been perfect were it not for Prop 8.  The only way to overturn it, as far as I know, would be at the US Supreme Court.  What's the word?  Is this even possible?  Allen, so sorry....

Kudos to Brendan, you made IN happen, dude.

Stevens, Young??  Friggin' amazing.  As Josh at TPM stated, based on these standards, I guess Sarah Palin really is a reformer.


Bro, in our joy for President Obama, we feel your pain...

what can we do? We here at the Field are Fired Up to get full rights for you and your (still in our eyes) hubby!

Please let us know...


waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


Good morning, America!

Good morning, America, how are ya?

Speaking for myself, I'm fired up and ready to go!

I'm getting ready to check out from my hotel here in Reno and head over the mountains back home to CA. 

Thanks, my dear brother and sister Fieldhands for your kindness.  I am touched that in the midst of all this celebration, you recognize and appreciate that yesterday was not a complete win for the forces of equality, because of Prop 8 and the other anti-gay referenda that passed around the country.  I'll come back and write more about Prop 8 after I collect my thoughts, but the bottom line is this: 

Norberto and I are still here.  We still hold a valid California marriage license.  Nothing that happened at the polls yesterday changed that.

And they will have to pry the wedding ring off my cold dead gay hand.

how do we participate

if we can't get to Chicago tomorrow?


The question of how to be a part of shaping the agenda of an Obama administration has been on my mind for a while. I can't travel to Chicago, but I am immensely interested in being active. Suggestions?

Thank-you Al and All Fieldhands

For your wise words and insight. I am so grateful to have been here to share this all with such a fine group of people. Take a break, savor our win, and get ready to roll up our sleeves, we have work to do. Allen and Norberto, your fight is my fight, I will keep working to make sure you and your spouse have the same rights and respect under the law as I do. We shall overcome.

Thank you Al... thank you Fieldhand Community...

I woke this morning to be 60 years old, and wondering how on earth that happened... and I also woke to President Obama, and I didn't have to wonder how that happened. It was all of us who knocked on doors, made phone calls and registered voters. I knocked on strangers' doors in Nevada, never imagining I could do such a thing; overcoming my fear to join the tens of thousands who were doing the same, and who brought this to pass. 

Al, thank you. It became a joke among my friends and colleagues... whenever they were attacked by the big Chicken Little, my immediate response would be an always timely post from the Field. The CL's began to grow up! Your astute and always forward looking analysis was the find of a lifetime.

Fieldhands... what can I say? It's been such a journey, and it's only just begun. So glad to have walked this way with each of you.

Prop 8

Every time I feel like cheering again, I remember Prop 8 and that cheer comes up short... the wind gets sucked out.

We won big last night, but we clearly have much to do.  Equality will win out, in the end.  It must.

And then I swing back to euphoria.  And to me there's one thing that seems almost bigger than Obama as President, and that's Michelle Obama as First Lady!  How much does that ROCK!  Good Lord, THAT puts a smile on my face...


Unfortunately not every battle can be won in most cases. But considering the fact that nearly a decade ago the supreme court was debating whether cities or states could actually take legislative action to protect homosexual citizens from discrimination (Romer v. Evans), I think the United States had come a long way with its perceptions of sexual orientation, despite the discrimination that has been injected into various state constitutions in the last six years.

Just recently my state senator, a lesbian, sponsored and passed a bill into law in Colorado that protects LGBT individuals from workplace discrimination. That said, I do believe the future looks bright for the LGBT community right now, even with Prop 8. And you're right in saying that there still is a lot of work to be done, on many different fronts.

@allison - participating in tomorrow's event


Are there plans to tape the event tomorrow and post it up to the web for those of us who aren't able to be there in person?  Because of this experience, I am in the process of completely changing the direction of my life...and I'd really like the chance to be able to participate in the event even if it's just after the fact in video form.  Please?

Kurt/ Allan

Kurt, I was born and bred in IN but now living in San Diego, CA. How I wish I'd gotten to observe the ground game! Although we did our fair share of the "satellite" game-- have been calling family and friends for over a year now, putting our best arguments out on the table.

And, Allan-- I was so incredibly proud last spring to be living in CA with the state supreme court's decision. A dear friend in childhood came and married her wife, and I have also been in the midst of helping to plan 2 weddings for 2 sets of much-beloved out-of-state uncles-- each couple having been together 30 + years.

So last night was certainly bittersweet. BUT: We have learned a lot about organizing, and I believe we can and WILL take on the special interest money(LDS) and bring back marriage for ALL consenting adults in CA. Yes. We. Can.  And, as Sullivan pointed out, we certainly have the younger generation with us.  But... I know you must be hurting right now.


Al & James Haygood


I hope you are profoundly proud of the blog you engineered and guided for the past year. You were a bedrock to so many of us, and wise and generous with your great experience as a community organizer yourself. Not to mention your common sense, and insight into the process and outcomes. Thank you for all you did. Sincerely.


Read Max Blumenthal -- and all his links -- about Prop 8:

I'm glad he's exposing another messianic group.

RFK, Jr. for EPA Cabinet Post

My subject line says it all. This is a potentially doable task for a group that wants to have some influence.

@allison @Fai

I'm going to bring a web enabled mobile phone and if there's decent wifi there, hopefully I will be able to stream the event from that to my Qik channel, which is Can't promise that that will work, however.


setting the agenda

I love Al's comment at the end of the video, where he says if we apply the lessons and techniques from the Obama campaign to issues moving forward, we can start setting the agenda for decades.  Golden opportunity if we strike while the iron is hot.

We must stop the next Prop8 to come down the pike, and there will be many, and to do that people need to start getting together right now.  The various reactionary religious movements have a couple thousand years head start on organizing.  Organized religions provide some great models for us to follow as well on how to mobilize people.

It's up to us to ACT.  Now.

they will have to pry the wedding ring off my cold dead gay hand

That, Allan, is the new rallying cry!!!

It's over for now, but not forever. We'll get there. We will get there.

A little rest, a little regrouping, and then... ONWARD!!!!

@Susan Kitchens

That's the spirit! :)


This and That

"We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next."

-Barack Obama, in an email sent out to supporters, thanking them for their help in getting him elected.


I assume that the President-elect ( and boy, does that feel great to write)means what he says, and look forward to continuing this campaign in a practical manner.

I wish I could be in Chicago tomorrow to meet all of you in person, and brainstorm along with you. I hope a copy will be made available. I may sleep until then as the adrenaline wears off, and the toll of 12-15 hour days the last week sets in.


To Al, a simple thank you. You've set a high bar for on the run political analysis. A book about our journey would be great.


To the community here, a collective three cheers.

A book!

Oh, yes...a book, Al. I'm very much in support of your doing that. Or, perhaps a series of guides to those of us just starting down this path of community organizing?  Help the virgins out, please.


I shot those videos in Madison and plan to do the same in Chicago, so working with Al and other Fieldhand editors, we'll hopefully have a wide variety of content coming over the next couple of weeks.

And by the way, this is very encouraging to hear from you:

"Because of this experience, I am in the process of completely changing the direction of my life."

We got your back and hopefully many others who are now doing the same.

PA Head Fake??

Ties in well with Al's comments when the PA hubbub began.

I can see several books I would buy about this.  I would buy the On the Road series in a book from Sean Quinn.  I would buy any behind the scenes type books.  (Funny how that stuff has started to come out already!)  And I would buy Al's book - for sure.   : ))

Looks like Chambliss is now below 50%.  I'd sure give him the advantage in a run-off though.  I tell ya what though, the whole lack of a paper trail in GA is just criminal.

And this just in!

Nebraska's last electoral vote

Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:00:11 PM PST

It's too close to call. Currently, McCain has a 569-vote lead. The AP, in an email to election feed subscribers (which we are, with our Electoral Scoreboard), says that election officials report 9,000 uncounted provisional and absentee ballots.

Add comment

Our Policy on Comment Submissions: Co-publishers of Narco News (which includes The Narcosphere and The Field) may post comments without moderation. A ll co-publishers comment under their real name, have contributed resources or volunteer labor to this project, have filled out this application and agreed to some simple guidelines about commenting.

Narco News has recently opened its comments section for submissions to moderated comments (that’s this box, here) by everybody else. More than 95 percent of all submitted comments are typically approved, because they are on-topic, coherent, don’t spread false claims or rumors, don’t gratuitously insult other commenters, and don’t engage in commerce, spam or otherwise hijack the thread. Narco News reserves the right to reject any comment for any reason, so, especially if you choose to comment anonymously, the burden is on you to make your comment interesting and relev ant. That said, as you can see, hundreds of comments are approved each week here. Good luck in your comment submission!

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

User login


About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

RSS Feed