Obama unveils grassroots caucus as DNC “project”

Daylife/AP Photo by Alex Brandon

President-elect Barack Obama has announced the formation of a group to continue the grass-roots engagement that was a hallmark of his presidential campaign, but lobbying now for his policy priorities in the White House.

“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.

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.

Sounds like a caucus within the Democratic Party – which is OK by me. Something like that exists in many urbane centers. Especially where and when folks are fed-up with old-line party hacks.

I wonder whether this attempt to completely reform the Democratic Party – contains a subtle threat to break away if stonewalled by the Old Guard?

3 thoughts on “Obama unveils grassroots caucus as DNC “project”

  1. moss says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if we had a proper 3rd party alternative in the United States?

    Trouble is, the real blivets in the Democratic Party couldn’t be counted on to keep their fiefdom of hacks going as a separate party. They’d probably jump over and join the patent leather-populist wing of the Republikans.

  2. Morey says:

    This is such a good topic: very easy to spend lots of time discussing, very difficult to make a short summary comment. I’d say this: Probably you could get at the root of a person’s political thinking very quickly by discussing this idea in depth.

  3. Cinaedh says:

    The main problem with more than two parties is the certainty that in some cases, the ‘winner’ is going to get less than fifty percent of the votes.

    That means more than fifty percent of the people voted against the winner and often, more than fifty percent of the voters feel like they aren’t being represented by the party in power.

    Still, the U.S. system with a separate election of the chief executive and a propensity of Representatives and Senators to casually cross the floor on some votes, without bringing down the government, is actually better suited to a multi-party system than a Parliamentary democracy.

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