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Political Bookworm
Posted at 01:52 PM ET, 01/31/2012

Obama’s letter of thanks to a grassroots organizer

Of Barack Obama, John and Michelle Presta can say, “I knew you when...” And now the president has sent them a gracious thank you note
for a book John wrote about the early days of Obama’s meteoric political rise.

The Prestas were Chicago community activists who ran a bookstore called Reading on Walden in 2000 when Obama mounted his campaign for a House seat. The newcomer sought out the Prestas to help drum up excitement for his bid and to build a grassroots organization to get him elected. That time around, the campaign came up short — Obama lost the election.

But the Prestas stayed active. With their help organizing, Obama tried again in 2004, this time for a Senate seat, and he managed to beat the Chicago political machine and headed off to Washington. The rest, as they say, is history.

John Presta has now written a book “Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers Did It,” published this month by The Elevator Group. The book gives an early-days view of Obama’s rise and a glimpse into his youthful confidence and determination.

After sending the president a copy of the book, John and Michelle Presta received the following letter from the White House.

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Follow Steven Levingston on Twitter @SteveLevingston

By  |  01:52 PM ET, 01/31/2012

 
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