Ari Melber (The Nation), with video (03:46):
David Plouffe, the Obama campaign manager who was recently tapped for an "expanded role" advising the White House, just cut a video briefing Obama supporters on plans for the coming election year.Howie P.S.: In case you forgot, OFA's main shortcoming has been its failure to sway Congressional opponents of Obama's agenda, with health care as the prime example. There's an AP story in the WaPo this morning that analyzes Obama's current approach:
While acknowledging that Obama's organizing operation faced "fits and starts" last year, Plouffe argued that the White House was "still on the doorstep of passing healthcare reform," and he announced some new numbers for the Democrats' ground game. One million new people joined Obama's Organizing for America (OFA) over the past year, Plouffe said, and supporters have now pledged to volunteer 450,000 hours in the coming year. (Have the Tea Parties registered contact information for a million people?) The results are from an online survey of Obama supporters. The survey found over 70 percent of respondents want to support "education reform" and "job creation" in 2010, while over 80 percent are still fired up for health care. (If at first you don't succeed...)
Plouffe also touched on a few areas where supporters thought Organizing for America came up short, pledging to provide more detailed information and communication about legislative and political strategy.
Beyond the video (link above), OFA is also distributing a two-page handout with more stats -- like OFA held a whopping 819 local events per week around the country last year -- and discussion of "important lessons." "Politically, we know that even our best efforts don't always result in victory," the handout notes, "but we've learned from each hard-fought race and are ready to put those lessons to work in 2010."
That may trigger thoughts of Massachusetts, but as readers here know, OFA's largest failure last year stemmed from the White House's flawed legislative strategy for health care. (More on that in my report on OFA's first year, The Permanent Field Campaign in a Digital Age.)
Beyond Plouffe's increased visibility -- a no-brainer, given his popularity with grassroots Democrats -- the President is still spending his most precious resource, time, on OFA.
On Thursday afternoon, Obama is scheduled to do a live video "conversation" with OFA members who RSVP on OFA's website.
Slapping Republicans with one hand, extending olive branches with the other, President Barack Obama is playing a dangerous political game.
It's not a new one.
And it just might work.