Jeff Blodgett on Winning the Wellstone Way: from Wellstone ’02 to Obama ’12

June 3, 2013

Nobody gets what it means to win the Wellstone way like Jeff Blodgett does. And at Camp Wellstone last Saturday, Jeff led a special session for campers and community members titled, “Winning the Wellstone Way: from Wellstone ’02 to Obama ’12.”

As Jeff noted, President Obama’s campaigns had resources that were unmatched in history, but the fundamentals of his grassroots campaign should be implemented by progressives for years to come.  Over 150 people joined us as Jeff explained how the campaign’s focus on building a bottom-up structure that focused on neighborhood teams and emphasized digital organizing as an important tool for the field organization (as opposed to the communications department) were two critical lessons that all campaigns should take to heart.

"This is the idea of taking community organizing and applying it to a political campaign, to win your election. It’s what Paul Wellstone did; it’s how he ran his races. The Obama campaign took that idea to a whole new level and there’s a lot to learn." - Jeff Blodgett

Even after a long and exciting day at Camp Wellstone, campers came to droves to take a peek behind the curtain at Wellstone’s, and now Obama’s, keys to success. Whether it’s building a successful presidential campaign to win, or an organization to help sustain the progressive movement, Jeff  knows that supporting a volunteer base with new skills and expertise is critical, “We infused training into the volunteer experience all the time, we took this incredibly seriously.” Leadership development and training was a core to success for President Obama’s campaign and it’s at the heart of what we do at Wellstone Action.

As Jeff said, “With the Camp Wellstone Twin Cities, we added 118 new graduates to our community of 55,000 people touched by Wellstone Action trainings.” We’re proud to be part of a movement that, like President Obama and Senator Wellstone before him, is dedicated to a people-powered type of politics that understands a basic tenant, “we all do better when we all do better.”

Whether you want to be a part of a national campaign for president, or join a race for your local school board, having a framework and training for success is critical. If you’re ready to be a part of it, come to a Camp Wellstone near you.