I'm in Reno on business, the "biggest little city in the world."
It certainly proved to be one of the "biggest little cities" in the political world last year. Let's face it! Barack Obama gambled big in 2008, believing he could win in traditionally Republican Presidential states.
When Obama said he would run a fifty-state race, even many Democrats scoffed privately. After all, when you compete in one state, you are taking dollars and staff away from working in other states. You risk losing some of your base.
Obama rolled the dice big, campaigning hard here. He made four visits to the University of Nevada-Reno, according to Dean Jerry Ceppos from the Reynolds School of Journalism, with whom I met today.
Obama made similar gambles in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Colorado and New Mexico. All traditionally lean to the GOP. It was a clean sweep. Obama didn't win just some of them, he won them all.
Nevada was a bellwether in some regards. Democratic volunteers from neighboring California poured in to help rally their troops here. Ringing door bells and getting out the vote is labor intensive.
When I was in Las Vegas for the Nevada Caucuses in January, 2008, people here in both parties were excited that the national media finally was paying attention. They said the election needed to be about more than just Iowa and New Hampshire.
"It's amazing to me that you are even here," said Rick, the bartender at the Stratosphere Casino, as I sipped wine at his bar and played video poker. "In the past, the political parties and the press didn't care about us," he told me. "We didn't matter."
But 2008 was a year of change, especially tossing out old and outdated strategies that had failed the Democrats in the past. Obama took a big gamble and won big!
I write a lot about how Nevada affected the race in my new book, "Age of Obama: A Reporter's Journey with Clinton, McCain and Obama in the Making of the President 2008."
You can buy my book by clicking on the blue book button, on the right side of this screen.