Originally published: November 14, 2012
Last updated: November 26, 2012 - 12:27pm
The reelection of Barack Obama was won by people, not by software. But in a contest as close as last week's election, software may have given the Obama for America organization's people a tiny edge—making them by some measures more efficient, better connected, and more engaged than the competition.
That edge was provided by the work of a group of people unique in the history of presidential politics: Team Tech, a dedicated internal team of technology professionals who operated like an Internet startup, leveraging a combination of open source software, Web services, and cloud computing power. The result was the sort of numbers any startup would consider a success. But the tech had not always worked so well. Four years ago, the Obama camp was in much the same position as Romney found himself in 2012, coming out of the primaries with only a short amount of time in which to pull together a national campaign. Despite having some people with tech expertise, the 2008 Obama campaign lacked an internal IT team, relying on vendors and field volunteers to pull much of the weight.
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