AUSTIN, TX–The most exciting thing about the Obama phenomenon is the phenomenon–the fact that millions of grassroots Americans have self-organized and become the driving force in a presidential campaign. They feel that they matter again in politics and that some real progress might finally be at hand.

In 2006, an awakened political majority tried to send an electoral message demanding real change in Washington’s business-as-usual, money-driven policies. They “won,” but were disappointed by the new Democratic leadership in Congress, so this year, they’re back with an even more vociferous, insistent, message of change–and they’ve found their messenger in Barack Obama.

I believe he will win the nomination and win in November, but most importantly, I believe he can govern as a progressive president. This is because Obama will not be going into the White House alone or with the usual coterie of special interests and old party operatives–rather, the democratic force that he has excited at the grassroots (especially among energized young people) will go in with him, demanding progressive policies and providing a counterpunch to the lobbyists who will try to capture his presidency.

Senator Obama represents the bright future that is possible in America when ordinary people begin to take charge. Clinton and McCain certainly have a wealth of Washington experience, but Obama has tapped into our country’s enormous democratic potential, and that’s not merely exciting, it is invaluable to our future.

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