Obama book club became campaign force
Feb 19,2008 00:00 by UPI

AUSTIN, Texas - Texans for Obama started as a book club before turning into a hub of support for U.S. Democratic hopeful Barack Obama.

The Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported that the Ian Davis and Matt Earhart started the club.

Davis reserved the Internet domain names obamabookclub.com and texansforobama.com. They publicized the club on meetup.com and distributed fliers one night after a Dixie Chicks concert.

At their group's first formal meeting on Obama's book, "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream," organizers said they expected just a few people, but 30 to 35 people showed up at the December 2006 meeting, the newspaper reported.

For their second meeting, more than 80 came. By their third meeting in February 2007, when Obama announced his candidacy, they said it was clear that their group was going to be more than a book club.

"We ran into something here," Earhart said. "We started early on this."

Texans For Obama members have volunteered on the Illinois senator's campaign.

After the March 4 primary in Texas, organizers say they'll get back to the book club, but now they are encouraging others to start their own Obama book clubs.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.