Well, my first look back at the campaign trail was honestly kind of a negative one. I figured I'd take a moment to reassure my readers (particularly if any of those are the people I was working with!) that on balance, I enjoyed my time with the campaign.
I think I can trace that enjoyment specifically to one facet of the campaign. You see, back when we had about a month to go until the election, there was this team meeting that we all attended, and one of the fun things we did at that meeting was to go around and have everyone say one thing they were looking forward to in the rest of the campaign.
My answer to that question was shaped in large part by the responsibilities I was taking on by that part of the campaign - as I mentioned in the last retrospective, I was in charge of data entry, and that meant building a team of people that could work together to get that data entry done. I was just starting that task when we had this meeting, and so I said that I was looking forward to building that team.
In some respects, though, I was less specific than that. What I said was that I was looking forward to building connections with all of the people that would work to help re-elect President Obama. I was looking forward to seeing someone walk in the door of our office and being able to say "Hey, nice to see you again, how are you today?" rather than "Welcome to the Obama campaign office, can I help you with something?"
In the end, that's the kind of thing that brought me back to the campaign day after day. Even in the position that I had, there was always that voice in the back of my head that suggested I was out of my depth. And then I'd show someone else how to handle the database, fix another computer problem at the office. One of the regular volunteers would come and ask me for help with something. I'd go and find out the answer, whether that meant a search of the Internet or asking the people that we had running the office. In some respects, I was too busy working to have the time to worry about whether I could handle the job!
Now that it's after the fact, I can say with some confidence that we got the job done. Barack Obama can be called "Mr. President" for another four years. And while that goes a long way toward shutting up that annoying little voice, I can't say that it was all or even mostly my work.
So let me say that again: we got the job done. The way politics should be handled: with people coming together and working for what they believed to be the common good. In short, as a team.