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"Respect. Empower. Include. Win" is motto at Obama campaign
May 13, 2011 / 12:53 AM / 7 years ago

"Respect. Empower. Include. Win" is motto at Obama campaign

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The sign at the entrance to President Barack Obama’s new 2012 campaign headquarters says: “Respect. Empower. Include. Win.”

<p>Volunteer receptionist Hattie Hester answers the phone while surrounded by photographers as they toured President Barack Obama's new campaign headquarters in Chicago May 12, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress</p>

A swarm of reporters got a sneak peak at the Obama’s headquarters on Thursday at a downtown Chicago office building.

The 50,000 square-foot space occupying a full floor of the building, is mostly open except for rows of tables sparsely populated by roughly 50 staffers and volunteers.

The number of campaign operatives will be increased during Obama’s re-election bid and Campaign Manager Jim Messina and other operatives said the space’s organization reflects Obama’s grassroots campaign style, which is open and inclusive.

Specific floor space is dedicated to staffers focused on finance, politics, technology, and marketing operations.

<p>Volunteer receptionist Hattie Hester answers the phone at President Barack Obama's new campaign headquarters in Chicago May 12, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress</p>

One marketing operative was using vote builder, the Democratic National Committee’s voter tracking database. Others made fundraising or organizing phone calls.

The office space is bigger than 2008, which was 31,000 square feet and situated in a nearby building to the 2012 location.

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Blue “Obama 2012” signs were pasted on some of the room’s white columns and there were handwritten inspirational notes volunteers and staffers created using markers.

A bevy of state highway maps hung on a wall. Among them were maps of four states Obama lost to Republican opponent Senator John McCain of Arizona in 2008 -- Arizona, Texas, South Carolina and Georgia.

Obama leads possible Republican candidates in recent polls but a lot depends on the state of the U.S. economy, which continues to struggle.

Messina has said his staff will not be complacent, especially as they prepare for battle in states Obama carried narrowly in 2008, such as Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia, all of which saw major Republican gains in 2010.

Reporting by Eric Johnson; Editing by Greg McCune

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