It's Thursday at noon, and I've had no emails from Barack Obama or his team - except for a brief "we made history" announcement - since Tuesday, November 4. This feels weird, because Obama's team emailed me almost daily prior to the election.
In fact, my name and email was one of millions his team collected over the 22-month campaign. He has many of our cell phone numbers, too, because we gave them to him just prior to his announcement (which came via a text message) of Senator Joe Biden as his running mate. On Twitter, BarackObama has 120,000 of us following him, receiving his messages.
Offline, too, the Obama campaign rallied extraordinary individual support. His campaign inspired millions to campaign and canvas for him, many for the first time. It took guts for my friend Jen and her 10-year-old daughter Sabrina to call strangers on Obama's behalf, but they did. In Ohio, my friend Sandy thought she was volunteering to man a phone bank. But when she was assigned to canvas door-to-door instead, she plucked up the nerve and did it.
That's how moved many Obama supporters have felt - that's how inspired Jen, Sabrina, Sandy, and many others felt to call, blog, speak, Twitter, plant lawn signs, and knock on doors to rally as loudly as we could. It forced many of us away from the sidelines and onto the playing field. It drew us out of our comfort zones.
Obama and his team were pretty awesome at it, too: they mobilized the likes of us to action like nobody's business. They encouraged everyone to have a voice, and gave us the tools to use it.
But what now?
Obama is in the House, which was the goal. But was it really the whole game? What happens to us now - those of us who are part of his massive database of names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, Twitter accounts, and the like? Now that we are vested in Obama, now that we feel part of it, now that we believe, as Obama said in Chicago the other night, that "our voice could be that difference."
His campaign, Obama acknowledged in his acceptance speech, grew strong "from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory."
I'm hoping this lull is temporary. What with a cabinet to staff and a puppy to buy, he's got stuff to do. But considering the network Obama has built, I'm hoping that he continues to rely on it. And I'm very heartened by the announcement today that Obama has launched the website change.gov, where we can find news about the transition and inauguration and information about his agenda.
That's a step in the right direction -- toward, as my friend Chris Penn suggests, "To keep the mailing list active as President of the United States, to text us when he needs to engage us. To drop a line on Twitter in addition to a White House Press Secretary. To podcast the radio address and blog from the Oval Office."
And what an America would look like, Chris muses, if the Obama campaign's supporters "become the Obama presidency's volunteer corps, millions of Americans being directed and taking guidance from the White House as they were from campaign headquarters, cleaning up rivers instead of canvassing for votes, feeding the hungry at soup lines instead of voting lines."
Or what if he relies on his supporters to pressure their Congress men and women, to get things done in Washington? What if the chorus of "Yes We Can" sings the tune of "Yes We Will"?
As I was two years ago, I remain hopeful. "What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night," Obama said. "This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you."
Count me in.
Ann Handley also writes about work, culture and life at A n n a r c h y.
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