February 1-4, 2009
CALD Organizes Obama-inspired Campaign
to right: Mr. Siegfried Herzog, Mr. Joe Hansen and Dr. Neric
Two weeks after the historical inauguration of America’s first
black president, the Council of Asian
(CALD) decided to jumpstart 2009 by learning
from the best practices of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
With the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty
(FNF) and the Liberal Party
of the Philippines
(LP), CALD held a political campaign roundtable
from 1-4 February 2009 at Makati City. It invited Joe Hansen, campaign
strategist and political consultant of the U.S. Democratic Party,
to provide insights based on the Obama campaign.
Participants came from Burma, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore,
Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand. The delegation was composed of members
of parliament and leaders from liberal political parties. Dr. Rainer
Adam, FNF regional director for East and Southeast Asia, formally
opened the workshop and welcomed the participants.
Hansen laid out the fundamental organizational strategies
that the Obama team utilized. He also spoke on the crucial factors,
such as messaging and communication
, which made
the campaign a remarkable success.
The participants later on presented their insights, based on his
input, vis-à-vis their experiences in their respective countries.
They focused on how their parties would be able to craft
an effective campaign message given their specific political context
They also evaluated the innovative mechanisms and the modern tools
that helped increase Obama’s grassroots reach. The participants
concluded that their countries, regardless of its political
, had viable channels
help communicate their aspirations
to the people.
“Learning from the Obama campaign underscored a key lesson:
while every country has its own unique preconditions and
systems, the narrative of hope is universal
Dr. Neric Acosta, secretary general of CALD. “What we ought
to focus on as liberal parties is the need to effectively
engage people with fresh ideas, clear policy options and greater
,” he added.
Joe Hansen has been active in Democratic Party politics for over
25 years. He is a partner in the direct mail firm of Ambrosino
Muir & Hansen. Prior to these efforts, Hansen served as executive
director, then later as senior advisor to the Democratic Senatorial