Obama’s campaign machine turns to policy – still outside the Democratic Party

A new political operation created to advance President Obama’s agenda in his second term will be allowed to raise unlimited money and accept corporate contributions, but officials said Friday the donations will be disclosed.

Obama for America, the organization that mobilized the president’s army of supporters during his two races for the White House, now has a new name: Organizing for Action. The aim of the group, which will be overseen by a small inner circle of former campaign advisers, will be to promote Mr. Obama’s policies and to give Democratic activists and other allies a way to rally behind his agenda.

The group’s chairman will be Jim Messina, the president’s campaign manager in 2012. He said Friday that the grass-roots effort would start by tackling gun control, immigration and climate change and would operate under the same financing rules as the president’s inauguration committee, which accepts corporate contributions…

Organizing for Action, which will be tax-exempt, can draw upon unlimited donations to take advantage of a muscular campaign apparatus that includes millions of Obama supporters. The group is planning to run television advertisements in a campaign-style effort to push the president’s initiatives.

“It’s not focused on politics,” Mr. Messina said. “It’s on supporting the legislative agenda…”

The leadership of the group will include Robert Gibbs, the president’s longtime confidant and former White House press secretary, as well as Stephanie Cutter, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon and Julianna Smoot, three deputy campaign managers. Jon Carson, who left the White House this week after serving in the Office of Community Engagement, will be the group’s executive director.

While the Republican Party is busy crapping their drawers – in between trips to kneel before Rush Limbaugh, the NRA and several nutball religious foundations – serious political analysts are engaged with a single question. Will this organization continue as independent of the Democratic Party after Obama’s second term or will it be folded into the party apparatus?

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