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Bird Leads Obama’s Pennsylvania Organizing

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Jeremy Bird ’00 is right in the middle of the 2008 Presidential Primary – in a leadership role.

Bird, the Pennsylvania field director for Democratic candidate Barack Obama, has been with the campaign for more than a year now. The Wabash religion major juggles many tasks as state director. His more than 150 staffers statewide work voter registration, voter turnout and special events. The level of detail involved is rather numbing.

In his downtown Philadelphia office Wednesday, more than 40 staffers went non-stop on cell phones, Blackberry devices, instant messaging, and even laptop computers. Bird rushed from one meeting to another, and then caught up on his e-mail. At mid-morning, he paused briefly for an interview with a reporter from the Los Angeles Times.

The pace is incredible. He arrives at the second floor state headquarters office in the early morning and often stays until 9 or10 p.m. or later. And, he does it seven days a week.

The former Howard Dean political staffer and Wake Up Wal-Mart employee has been at the center of some of Obama’s biggest wins. Bird worked both South Carolina and Maryland for the presidential contender.

While Bird toils in the long primary battle for Obama, Elliott Vice and Brock Johnson work the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The fall issue of Wabash Magazine will focus on Wabash men in politics. I’m in Philly to spend a few days with Jeremy and to absorb the incredible amount of behind-the-scene detail that goes into a presidential campaign.

- Howard W. Hewitt