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Saturday, August 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 77.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Paper
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Election 2008: Obama picks Madison for state headquarters

Barack Obama's campaign headquarters for the state of Wisconsin will be in Madison.

"It's a departure," says Madison Ald. Zach Brandon, who volunteers with Obama's campaign. "Milwaukee is typically the state headquarters."

In 2004, John Kerry also picked Madison for his headquarters.

Brandon says Obama chose Madison because a large part of his field operation, including the UW-Madison's Students for Barack Obama, is located here. "Obama runs his campaign centered around the field operations," explains Brandon. "It comes out of his background as an organizer in Chicago."

It also doesn't hurt that Obama's state director, Dan Kanninen, as well as other key campaign staff, live in Madison.

The rest of Wisconsin shouldn't feel slighted: The Obama campaign has eight offices in the state so far, including Milwaukee, Green Bay and Fond du Lac, with plans to open more in the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Obama's local staff is temporarily housed above the Argus in downtown Madison (conveniently located across the street from Isthmus' office and thirsty Isthmus staffers who might have dreamed about drinking in the pub with Obama someday). Brandon won't say where the new office will be located, but he hints that it will still be downtown.

"You should be able to walk to it," he promises.

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