Crossing the desk of the Department Of Pointing Out The Obvious (DOPOTO) are many reports of committees to elect Barack Obama continuing their e-mail campaigns to solicit volunteers and hold meetings of behalf of their “candidate.” At the risk of being too obvious, even for The Department Of Pointing Out The Obvious, we remind them that Mr. Obama won the election handily this past November 4th. You can go home now. Your lives are waiting. You won. Don’t run the risk of some idle scientist diagnosing you with some made up disease and calling it Campaignitis or Change the World Syndrome and prescribing you powerful sedatives. 

We laud you for your dedication and your success in helping America end a sad chapter in its history (the Bush The Younger Administration) by electing Barack Obama President of the United States and thank you for your unselfish work on his behalf. Go home now. The phone banks are switched off, the rented computers returned, the office furniture gone, the rents on the campaign centers running out and soon they will padlock the doors. Don’t be a sad case reporting to a cold, empty storefront until you are finally turned away by the authorities for trespassing. The neighbors will talk and little children will point and stare. Face it, there are no more buttons to hand out, leaflets to mail, posters to staple up, polls to track or phone calls to make. There is no candidate anywhere in sight to approve this message. It’s over.

It is understandable that you don’t want the elation to wear off. You were part of an exciting political campaign that will go down in history, one that has changed America and the world forever. But it was a political campaign you were involved in; a presidential race, not an open-ended religious crusade. By definition, political campaigns are over once the people have spoken on election day. The jubilation you experienced when your candidate won was expected and well earned. The world shared in America’s jubilation. Congratulations and expressions of good will poured in from all over the globe. So if the euphoric glow lasted a few days or a week, no one begrudges you that. But now two weeks later it is over and done with and Barack Obama goes about the serious business of putting together a cabinet and staff to run his administration. 

Mr. Obama is a promising President-elect and seems to have the transition process well in hand. He’s tackling the job in dead earnest and doing it in the same methodical and capable way he overcame all the odds in the past two years to become the first black man to be elected President of the United States. And believe it or not, he’s doing this without your help. That’s the deal with being president, he doesn’t get to use the armies of zealous volunteers that got him elected but instead has to work within the framework of the United States Constitution, selecting responsible people to head the various government departments and agencies and who will faithfully carry out his policies. 

With no phone banks, no slogans and no banners, the president-elect spends his time now getting briefed by government agencies on the state of the world, interviewing potential cabinet members and formulating policies to solve some very serious problems facing our nation. Being president is not exactly the team sport that campaigning is. While the president  assembles the best possible team to advise him and keep him informed of developments, it is he alone who makes the final decisions and takes responsibility for his entire administration’s work. Although many thousands were required to mobilize the nation to vote for their man, he’s on his own now. Some Obama volunteers seem unwilling to accept this. 

DOPOTO again reminds such souls that the campaign is officially over and that everyone knows you’re using your own computers for those feverish e-mails. People are also being invited to Obama parties in people’s living rooms and it’s getting just a little creepy. Let it go, people! Your side won and now the party’s over. It’s not as if we were going to have to elect him all over again any day now. No, that would be four years from now at which time our next regularly scheduled presidential election will occur. Nobody anticipates expanding our already way too long presidential races to a state of permanent presidential campaigning. The American public simply won’t stand for it. Go home already! Your families are learning to get along without you and your dog growls at you like a stranger.

The Department also reminds Obama volunteers that your service to the campaign gives you no input at all on any presidential decisions made by him. Just as the candidate himself called the shots strategy-wise during the long campaign, you’re going to have to trust him come January 20th, 2009 to run the country, which, may we remind you, was the whole point of the campaign. Be glad of your memories and the satisfaction of having taken part in an important process and leave it a that. So, step away from the e-mail, people, put down the headsets and remain calm. Post-campaign emergency operators are standing by and special counselors will come to your homes if necessary to show you how to resume your lives. The number to reach them is 1-800-CHANGED. Mission accomplished.

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