We’ve reached the point in the election cycle when nonpartisan groups like Rock the Vote step up their efforts to energize young voters and drive registration. The folks at McSweeney’s, the publishing hub founded by Dave Eggers, are targeting a more specific kind of electoral apathy however. Eggers and co. noticed a lack of enthusiasm toward their chosen candidate, Barack Obama, from people who had voted for him last time and decided to take some very partisan action toward getting those disaffected voters excited again.
Completely independent of the official campaign to reelect Barack Obama, 90 Days, 90 Reasons is an online initiative that provides “daily reasons–concrete, factual, plain–to reelect Barack Obama and will also provide likely outcomes of a Romney presidency.” The project was conceived by Eggers and talent manager Jordan Kurland, both of whom are President Obama’s fellow Chicagoans. Together, the pair began reaching out to a diverse cross section of entertainers and thought leaders, asking them to contribute essays explaining why they’re voting for Obama this year. Each day of the three months preceding the election, readers would perhaps find new inspiration to follow suit.
As it turns out, Eggers and Kurland happened to have access to a lot of high-profile cultural figures. 90 Days, 90 Reasons launched on August 8 with Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard writing about how Obama’s presidency is the first to acknowledge the equal marriage rights of gay couples. The weeks since have seen entries from the likes of Roger Ebert, Russell Simmons, and Patton Oswalt, with Susan Sarandon, Wild author Cheryl Strayed, and many more set to follow.