Barack Obama 2.0 gets a name

BARACK OBAMA 2.0 GETS A NAME…. The LA Times reported the other day on the effort to turn Barack Obama’s campaign structure into a post-election organization, taking advantage of the network and team of volunteers. Yesterday, the political operation, which boasts 13 million e-mail addresses, 4 million cellphone contacts, and 2 million active volunteers got a name and a broad mission.

“As president, I will need the help of all Americans to meet the challenges that lie ahead,” Obama said in a video message e-mailed to supporters and reporters. “That’s why I’m asking people like you, who fought for change during the campaign, to continue fighting for change in your communities.”

The new group, called Organizing for America, will be a “special project” of the Democratic National Committee, according to Obama transition spokesman Ben LaBolt, and it appears to be the primary vehicle for issue advocacy for Obama’s agenda. It will also be the keeper of Obama’s e-mail list, which has 13 million addresses. […]

The unveiling of Organizing for America came after months of consultation with the grass-roots network built by Obama during the campaign; more than 500,000 online surveys seeking guidance were filled out, and the group was created out of those recommendations. […]

By keeping Organizing for America within the DNC, and running it with a small handful of campaign operatives, Obama is ensuring that the political machine, and political brand, he built during the campaign are preserved and protected over the coming years.

Marc Ambinder noted that Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Jeremy Bird, and Mitch Stewart, all aides from the Obama campaign, will form the “triumvirate at the head of this new behemoth.” (Also note, O’Malley Dillon will be the DNC’s executive director, running the national party offices day to day.) Obama campaign manager David Plouffe is reportedly going to play a significant role in OFA.

Obama’s message on the organization didn’t go into too many details — he talked about “building on the movement” and “fighting for change” — but if the new organization can take full advantage of the grassroots political machine that was crafted throughout the presidential campaign, it’s going to be a powerful tool for activism — whether Congress likes it or not.

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