The bustling Obama headquarters on North Michigan Avenue invites comparisons to a start-up, teeming with young people in jeans clutching BlackBerrys as they walk through the halls. Yet in Democratic circles, another, potentially less welcome, parallel is being made: to the tight-knit and tight-lipped organization eight years ago of George W. Bush.
Decisions are guarded with extreme secrecy, none more so than the upcoming vice presidential selection, and that has occasionally irked members of Congress. In recent days, as Republicans publicly accused Sen. Barack Obama of appearing presumptuous during his presidential-style trip to Europe, Democrats privately expressed concerns that Obama has become too Chicago-centric, relying on his inner circle rather than a broader group that encourages input from Washington and elsewhere.
"One of the great strengths of this campaign from the very beginning has been the cohesion, the sense of camaraderie, and the lack of drama," said David Axelrod, a leader of the no-drama movement with his casual wardrobe and low-key demeanor.