Over the last 5 and a half years, the pure passion and dedication I have seen from the people who have worked alongside me on this campaign has been unparalleled. But what united us was not just our love for President Obama but, more importantly, the idea that we all had a small role to play in how our nation moves forward.
For me, it all started when Jason Waskey asked me to volunteer for the then-Senator Obama’s campaign for Presidency. I was almost done with my senior year in high school and needed to find something to spend my time with. And although I was immediately attracted to the Obama campaign and what it stood for, what kept me engaged and motivated to give-up my life for this cause was Jason. For me, seeing someone sacrifice his life in support of a distant and, what appeared to be, an unreachable goal, was inspiring. And despite being told by almost everyone around us that we were fighting for a lost cause; that what we were doing is a waste of time, Jason's humbleness, focus, and steadfast direction gave me motivation to keep pushing on. I cannot thank him enough for the courage and inspiration he has given me throughout all these years. Although I have looked to him for these last few years as my boss (whether officially or unofficially), he is much more of a role model and a friend. I am truly honored to have met him in my life.
Throughout the first campaign in 2007-2008, I was fortunate enough to have met many more amazing individuals. I canvassed and phonebanked in the cold of Iowa and New Hampshire with Matt Verghese, Chris Wilhelm, Rob Yochem, Bill Romani, and Hans Riemer. I worked to organize students on college campuses with Alex Rischard, Sterling Grimes, Nina Anziska, Irina Zamyatin, Brittany McGrath, and Alexis Aduba.
Then we won the White House. From that moment on, I had the privilege to meet and work with more amazing people like Laila El Gohary (whose obsession with cats is borderline crazy, but always entertaining), Zeppa Kreager (who is one the best student organizers I have ever worked with and whose love for my lame jokes keeps me going), Scott Travers (who helped me organize college campuses across the state), Simone Lavine (who has been a great friend and has promised to give me one of her pet dogs), Victoria Zhao (who has a very bright future ahead of her), Jerusalem Demsas (who literally helped run my life these last few weeks), Jon Heintz (one of the hardest working people I have ever seen), Lilla Weinberger (who is one of the sweetest, most organized, and most loving people I have met on this campaign), and Becca Newman (whose support these last few weeks have been more meaningful to me than I can even put into words…and who I know is crying right at this moment).
To all my summer fellows; all my fellow staffers; anyone who’s ever “liked” my million annoying Facebook statuses; anyone whose read my blog posts; and anyone whose had to put up with my emotionally charged rants about how much I love President Obama…all that there is left to say is THANK YOU.
I want to thank all my brothers in the Crew for providing me with the support I needed to help get me through all these years.
I want to thank the awesome members of the A-Team (Chuck, Alli, Amanda, and Andrew), who had to put up with my loud-mouth for 15+ hours a day.
I want to thank my sister (Anu Jain), who has made me one of the proudest and happiest elder brothers anyone could ever wish to be. Her resilience, humor, smarts, and creativity has been inspiring.
But most importantly, I want to thank my wonderful parents (Indu and Palav Jain) for allowing me to pursue my passion and dream. Without their full support for the work I have been doing on this campaign, I would not be where I am today. Period.
My experience on this campaign has been one of the most humbling, most inspiring, most gratifying and most rewarding feelings of my life. And I thank every single person who’s helped along this fantastic journey.
Now, all we can do is move FORWARD!