Intense and gripping, the 2008 election was also historic. The son of a Kenyan immigrant and an American mother has risen to the presidency of history's most powerful nation. Who was not moved by the sight of Jesse Jackson standing silently among strangers with tears streaming down his face as he thought of a long journey towards equality and acceptance?
So how did Barack Obama win? Some of it was fortune: He was a fresh, gifted, charismatic leader who emerged at just the moment that people yearned for something entirely new.
Some of it was circumstance: The October Surprise arrived a month early and framed the election in the best possible way for Mr. Obama (and the worst possible way for John McCain).
Some of it was thoughtful positioning: His themes of bipartisanship and a readiness to tackle the country's pressing challenges were enormously attractive, especially when delivered with hope and optimism.
And some of it was planning and execution: The Obama campaign, led by the two Davids -- Plouffe, the manager, and Axelrod, the strategist -- carefully built a powerful army of persuasion aimed at accomplishing two tasks.
FULL ARTICLE: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122593304225103509.html