Away from the pomp and bright lights of the Republican Party’s Presidency 5 event and the Conservative Public Action Conference, Team Obama is treading in Florida this week as well.
Katherine Archuleta, the political director for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, is coming to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa from Friday to Sunday. She’ll meet with Democratic elected officials and the grassroots Obama leaders known as the Fall Fellows, who help recruit volunteers and man phone banks. At the same time, Vice President Joe Biden travels to Miami Beach to raise campaign cash.
Archuleta hails from Denver, where she worked in local politics. Before being tapped political director for Obama, she was chief of staff for Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. She keenly understands the Hispanic community (more like “communities”), so she brings and added ethnic sensibility to Obama’s campaign, which is focusing on Hispanics and keenly wants to hang on to Western/Rocky Mountain states like Colorado.
Archuleta’s visit and the quiet and ongoing organization efforts of the Obama campaign should leave little doubt: Obama’s campaign is aiming for a repeat of 2008 in Florida, which he won. Back then, Republicans were left in a daze over how they were out-advertised and out-organized. Republicans and Democrats alike say organization -- specifically boosting the Democratic voter rolls by a few thousand -- is key for Obama. Unlike last time, though, Obama will have to spend more in Florida (some say upward of $100m).
Though the president’s poll numbers are somewhere between bad and awful, he’s still the president and he still has the bully pulpit.