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?