The Barack Obama re-election campaign of 2012 likes to refer to its “grassroots” supporters, but Obama 2012 is gaining much of its support not from gatherings of ordinary voters, but from luxury parties at the homes of the very wealthy, where people show up with tens of thousands of dollars of bundled donations in exchange for the opportunity to briefly rub shoulders with the President. Even a small scale Obama campaign event, like the one taking place outside of Washington D.C. this Thursday evening, requires guests to bring a minimum of $250, and at least a thousand dollar check in order to briefly be greeted by the party’s host, Democratic National Committee Chair and U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Compare these kinds of events to the campaign breakfast held by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein this morning in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Stein is running at full steam, having won all 22 Green Party state primary contests so far, though all of these primaries have been contested. So, the Stein for President campaign could get its ego inflated at this point, and start to charge admission to campaign events.
That’s not what’s happened. The introduction to the Stein for President breakfast this morning didn’t ask for cash, as the Romney and Obama campaigns do. It simply stated, “All supporters are welcome”. Of course the invitation did suggest a donation, but that donation was to the breakfast meal – a dish to pass.
A presidential campaign potluck – that’s what a genuine grassroots presidential campaign looks like. It’s the way most Americans are living now too. We aren’t attending fundraising events where we pay for our food. We simply share what we have.
This kind of open, easy-going attitude extends into Jill Stein’s search for a Vice Presidential running mate. While other presidential campaigns are hold secret meetings, and making sure that running mates pass focus group and polling tests, the Jill Stein for President campaign is simply asking Americans for their suggestions about who ought to be considered as a Vice Presidential candidate on the Green Party ticket this year.
Who would you suggest?