With the February 5th primary looming, the Obama campaign is pulling out all the stops in California. Millions of dollars are being spent, and over 120,000 volunteers are spreading the message. There's even a online wiki that has been set up to enable precinct volunteer to operate a virtual phone bank. The California operation has been very 2.0. The field director for these efforts in California is an exceptional 30-year-old named Buffy Wicks.
I met Buffy two years ago when she was instrumental in the anti-Wal-Mart effort. She was polite to me, which she didn't have to be, and frighteningly smart. And frightening to me in general. I was once being interviewed in LA by Mirthala Salinas for Univision near a Wal-Mart that was opening. Miss Salinas asked if I would do the interview in Spanish, I said sure, as my Spanish is usually pretty good. As the cameraman set up, Buffy walked over from across the street, and stood right behind the camera staring me down. Flummoxed, I forgot every word of Spanish I knew and we had to reshoot the interview in English. She made an impression.
But such was her attention to detail. I've followed her career since then and it's been fun to watch her grow the Obama organization in California through innovative ground techniques that maximize the volunteer effort, thereby freeing up capital for TV and radio advertising. The next 10 days are going to be the most intense, exhausting, and rewarding time of Buffy Wicks' political career. The executives at Wal-Mart referred to her, in grudging admiration, as "Buffy the Wal-Mart Slayer." If you see Buffy the day after the primaries, buy her a beer. She will have earned it.