For Over 10 Years, Chicago Couple Stays Loyal To Obama

In politics, the second try is not always easier than the first.

As President Obama campaigns for re-election, his agenda has shifted from the "hope" and "change" of his 2008 campaign to "moving forward" in 2012. Just three years earlier, thousands gathered in Washington for the historic inauguration of America's first black president. Now, some of those same people are wavering in their support for the head of the executive branch. Democratic voters are beginning to share some of the same complaints as their Republican counterparts.

But there are still a faithful few with passion for the President.

John Presta and his wife, Michelle, have been there for Obama since his run for Congress in 2000. The two were running their bookstore, Reading On Walden, when Obama's campaign organizers asked for their help. In time, the Prestas helped build a grassroots organization consisting of over 300 volunteers. From that, they earned a nickname which inspired the title of Mr. Presta's recent book: "Mr. & Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers Did It," published in January by The Elevator Group.  

As a lifelong participant in politics, the 59 year-old community activist knows about the power of grassroots firsthand. At seven years old, Presta developed a love for politics from the campaign of John F. Kennedy--who later won the presidency. And over 50 years later, his political life remains more active than ever.

Presta says that the response for the book "gets stronger as time goes by." He adds that a large number of schools have used it for class discussions including the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As both Obama and Romney reach out to young voters, the book could give Democrats a potential advantage.

"[The book] can be a great motivating tool for President Obama's re-election," Presta explains.

"In his speeches, the President constantly talks about 'grassroots' and doing the little things that add up. That little seed will become a field of grass."

As November approaches, Presta--along with Obama's campaign team--is hoping that voters view the grass as greener on their side of the ballot.

~ Zack A. Isaacs

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