Beltway Happenings
December 19, 2006--Draft Obama held a fundraiser at Local 16, a bar on U Street.  Among those present (not pictured) were Georgetown University Law student Brian Wallach, who read and was impressed with Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope."  Adam Conner, who worked as a blogger for Mark Warner's Forward Together PAC and is now helping out with the site started by Todd Webster, was another attendee.  "I think he inspires a generation and a country that hasn't seen such inspiration in a while and may have forgotten what it was like," Conner said.
Ben Stanfield, who in real life does computer work for government agency in Bethesda, was inspired by Obama's 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention and subsequently acquired the domain.  In October 2006 he posted a single page.  "Almost immediately e-mails started coming in," he said.
Kris Schultz says she has been putting in 60-hour weeks on the Draft Obama effort.  She initially offered to buy the domain from Stanfield, but he refused to sell.  Schultz has extensive campaign experience.  Shultz is originally from Kentucky, where she volunteered on her first campaign in 1986.  More recently she ran Mark Fernald's 2002 gubernatorial campaign in New Hampshire, served as executive director of the New Hampshire Democratic Party in 2002-03, and was Milwaukee field director of the Democratic Coordinated Campaign in Wisconsin in 2004.  "For me there finally is a candidate that represents why I got into politics 20 years ago," she said.  "He transcends so much of what frustrates people about Washington," Shultz said, adding that Obama can "truly be a uniter."
Attorney Andy Rosenberg has also been active in the Draft Obama effort.
On December 7 Draft Obama brought John Hlinko onto its national leadership team.  Hlinko founded in the last presidential cycle.

Copyright © 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action