Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Barack Obama 2.0

You might not agree with President-elect Obama on the issues, but his team sure does know how to organize at the grassroots level.

And there is a fascinating look in today's LA Times about how Barack Obama is planning to use (and build on) Obama '08 campaign machinery to push his presidential agenda in his first term:
The organization, known internally as "Barack Obama 2.0," is being designed to sustain a grass-roots network of millions that was mobilized last year to elect Obama and now is widely considered the country's most potent political machine.


Though the plan still is emerging, one source with knowledge of the internal discussion said the organization could have an annual budget of $75 million in privately raised funds. Another said it would deploy hundreds of paid staff members -- possibly one for every congressional district in certain politically important states and even more in larger battlegrounds such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina.

The full-time staff is likely to consist primarily of the presidential campaign workers, many in their 20s, who served as the local points of contact for the campaign's vast network of neighborhood volunteers. As part of the new organization, these workers probably would focus on similar campaign-style tasks, such as arranging phone banks, distributing signs, recruiting more helpers, buying coffee and doughnuts for house meetings and reporting voter contact data to senior officials.
The whole article is really worth a read.

Also, while AmericaSpeakOn is on the subject of Obama and grassroots organizing, the Washington Post has a terrific interview with Obama's 2008 campaign manager here.

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