07/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Giannoulias Courting Grassroots In Quest For Senate

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias stepped up his campaign for the U.S. Senate this week with a substantial grassroots recruiting effort, Progress Illinois reports.

Giannoulias rolled out a new web effort, Grassroots for Alexi, to begin organizing and mobilizing voters to raise money and volunteer to go door-to-door for him.

In conjunction with launching the site, Giannoulias released a new video and wrote a coming-out post on Daily Kos designed to introduce the state official to the site's national audience.

"I've been reading the site for a while now (I guess I'm what you would call a "lurker") and I constantly find myself in awe of this community's passion and knowledge," Giannoulias wrote.

"While I feel like I know many of you simply by reading your work, I would like to formally introduce myself to the community. So, from user ID# introduction."

Giannoulias goes on to speak of his upbringing by Greek parents, his election as the youngest state treasurer in the country and his relationship with President Obama, whom he called his mentor.

Giannoulias tries to paint himself as an outsider to the political establishment, much like his frequent basketball partner.

"President Obama wasn't the choice of DC insiders when he ran for the Senate, and neither am I," Giannoulias wrote. "Fact is, I wasn't the choice of the insiders when I ran for Treasurer. Far from it."

Casting himself as an outsider may be Giannoulias' way of carving out space in a potentially crowded primary against against candidates with greater name recognition.

"The times are too serious to let the same old politicians fail to solve the same old problems, and the opportunity is too great to settle for the ineffective status quo," Giannoulias wrote.

Watch Giannoulias' new video: