Yossef Ben-Meir, a former Peace Corps director and professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, also believes grassroots work is a valuable political training ground.
“It really demands bringing people together to solve problems and deal with conflict,” he said. “It's a facilitating role and of course that would serve government leadership.”
The Republican Party should continue criticism at its own risk, he said. Mr. Obama's grassroots background has proved effective in mobilizing voters to his cause, and community organizing has ties to church groups and religious organizations, voting blocs Mr. McCain wants on his side.
“What's ironic is that Republicans appreciate concepts of community organizing because they're skeptical of national levels of government deciding issues at the community level,” he said. “I imagine a lot of people in that hall said, ‘Hey, wait a second, I like it when communities determine their own future.'”
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Did convening Republicans gain a short-term bump in polls at the expense of long-term campaign effectiveness? One New Mexico professor thinks so: