This sentence is taken from Chapter 1 of Barack Obama's new book 'A promised land':

"It seemed like it sprang out of nowhere, as grassroots a political campaign as anything mordern politics had ever seen."

Can anyone explain why there are 2 nouns following the first 'as'? Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


Grassroots is being used as an adjective here to describe "political campaign" and it means something like "authentic" or "populist."

It is a typical "as... as" usage to compare two things, but one is specified and one isn't. In that way it functions to say that the thing being compared is superlatively [adjective].

The campaign was as grassroots as anything. → The campaign was more grassroots than the others.

Consider a similar "as... as" structure:

He had never seen as blue a sky as he did after the storm.

She had never smelled as delicious a cake as the one baking in the oven.

  • Thank you. It's been a couple of months since I asked the question. I never thought grassroots could be used as an adjective. Now it makes a lot of sense.
    – Ken Chen
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 9:13

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