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Just a quick question, almost a waste of a diary, but I think this is a really important question for the future.

Obama has built quite possible the most powerful political campaign operation in the history of the world. So what's going to happen to that organization now that he no longer has to run for office?

It would be a real shame if it were to just fade away.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hopefully it can be kept alive (6+ / 0-)

    At least long enough to prevent a repeat of 2010 in 2014.
    We can't afford to let down during the off year elections.

  •  Focus on congress 2014 (9+ / 0-)

    Ideally, it'll be immediately turned to focus on congressional elections in 2014.

    •  why not 2013 (0+ / 0-)

      I live in VA and we have a big Gov race coming up soon, I hope that the VA office will get involved in that...anyone with contact information for them would be appreciated so I can get in touch

      I can't force you to do anything, I can just make you regret it!

      by restondem on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:32:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eddie L

    There has to be a way to use the database of new voters - the outreach to young voters, Latino, African-American etc to keep them engaged for the off year elections, local and state elections, not just 2016 and beyond

    Imagine how much different the House would look next year if the GOP hadn't picked up so many statehouses in 2010 and been in charge of so much of redistricting?

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:16:29 AM PST

  •  OFA - goes by two names (14+ / 0-)

    Obama for America and Organize for America.  First and foremost it is legally an operation of the Democratic National Committee and thus the state committees that fall under it.

    The computer system that OFA uses was actually developed and implemented under Deans leadership - in VA - we were the test bed for the new system - known as the VAN - Voter Action Network.  This is system is totally integrated and Dem candidates can buy into it....

    Here's the best news - OFA was very very reluctant to share their data after 2008 - they wanted to bank it so that it would not be misused and have it ready to work and rework for 2012...and so there was a lot of wrangling going on with various party people - finally some information was shared - but very very limited.  Here's the good news - 2012 is in the history books / 2012 is over - the data should be available to the state parties.  All the phone bank / canvass / voter results info.

    Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

    by totallynext on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:17:11 AM PST

  •  here in chapel hill, nc... (11+ / 0-)

    we are already making plans for 2014.
    The core group of volunteers are going to keep the momentum by keeping in touch and working toward a Blue NC in 2014.

    What OFA has taught me- I was a Organizing Fellow, Canvass/Phone Captain and Staging Location Director - is that you can organize on your own and build a team that can work within the structure that areas Dem Party.

    I assume that Women-Latinos-Students for Obama are groups that will keep going - just under a new banner of some type.

    We are going to have take some responsibility for keeping the movement moving FORWARD...like Plouffe said - in a way it is up to us now.

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all. John F. Kennedy

    by ebbet on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:18:08 AM PST

    •  may I sponsor a party for you guys? (0+ / 0-)

      My contribution was very limited in Chapel Hill - I brought cake and banana bread to the headquarters a few times. I have certain constraints, but have space to host 30-40 people(have the chairs, too!)for any organizing meeting or whatever you need. I am very concerned about 2014, after the statewide disaster of 2010. I want to help, even if it is mainly in providing baked goods.

      George W. Bush: the worst Republican president SO FAR.

      by Chun Yang on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:48:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama could break it down into units (9+ / 0-)

    Sell all of the equipment
    Lay off 50% of the workers
    Outsource the rest to China
    Load OFA up with debt

    Wait, that's the other guy...nevermind

    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

    by Zwoof on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:20:03 AM PST

  •  It needs to be operational, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000, fumie, txcatlin

    although perhaps renamed.

    At the end of election cycles, Dems seem to say, "OK, that's over" and go about their lives. Repubs seem to say, "We have to raise money for the next one."

    Just because this election cycle is over, there's no cause to slack off. 2014 is coming, and the Repubs are already raising money.

    And they may, although it won't be certain until after they've finished having their public meltdowns and temper tantrums, actually learn from their mistakes and try to put together a good ground game.

    "There are no Americans at the airport!" -- Baghdad Bob
    "I’ve got a very effective campaign." -- Mitt Romney

    by Mnemosyne on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:20:11 AM PST

    •  There is a reason to slack off: health. (0+ / 0-)

      We fought so hard to keep Bain management principles out of government;  why should we inflict them on ourselves.

      Mental and physical health are great things to have, and excellent resources.  As work hours lengthen, productivity tends to decrease.  

      We should take two or three days to relax and celebrate after victories, and a week to properly mourn after defeats.  

      It probably would not hurt to hug a Republican, if s/he were receptive.  First, because it's the right thing to do since the Divine is reflected in everybody's face (even if through a funhouse mirror).  Second, because Derangement Syndrome did the Republicans no favors in 2012 -- remember them gathering around their skewed polls and misallocating resources?  Had Romney's staff looked at the polls and abandoned all but Ohio, Virginia and Florida, he would be elected President.  

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:38:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Personally (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000, AnnieJo

    I would love to see alot of the groundwork that OFA did rolled into the '14 midterms, and into the '16 Presidential.  They have a phenomenal organizational structure and staff in place...something that Democrats could really use to their advantage down the road to keep the GOP in check.

    "There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result." - Winston Churchill

    by Dingodude on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:20:12 AM PST

  •  It's a great question and a challenge for us. In (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    txcatlin, yellowdog

    his consolation letter to Republicans at RedState Erick Erickson argued that President Obama and OFA built a "pro-Obama" coalition, not a "pro-Democratic Party" coalition, so he predicted that our alliance will dissipate by 2016 and beyond leaving optimistic and fertile ground.

    I don't agree, but it is a convenient quick way to throw down the gantlet for us Democrats to prove him wrong.

    Can we fire up those inspired more by President Obama, the person, to be equally passionate and hard-working for more abstract ideals of the Democratic Party in future election?

    What are the ideas, programs, policy, values, principles, and people that will advance this potential coalition?

    How do we maximize the assets, momentum, people, and enthusiasm in place now at OFA, here, and everywhere into a political force that can continue this success?

    All fantastic questions you initiated Chris.  I look forward to hearing from OFA volunteers,  professionals, and others on how they plan on moving forward.

    From reading Republican site in the election aftermath, many of the those putting up the vast sums of money for Republican SuperPacs are asking, "what did we get for this $1 billion for ads?"  

    One says nothing, and he is going to switch over from funding financial ads to funding "grass roots" organizing modeling Democratic success.

    Aside from the quip that top-down funding of pseudo "grass-roots" efforts are not grass-roots but "astro-turfing" we Democrats need to also learn that a Republican strength has been numerous full time, well-funded professional organizations, think tans and even academic departments which push Republican memes and messages into traditional media as if they were independent "scholars."

    It would be great if we could find a way to transform these OFA groups, and others into ongoing advocacy for Democratic values,  and policies.  

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:23:40 AM PST

  •  DNC has been running OFA since 2008 (4+ / 0-)

    Recruiting may be harder without Obama on the ticket but they'd be crazy to give it up.  We saw how well neglecting it worked in 2010.

    Hell, nothing stops Obama from continuing to be its face after he is an ex-president.  Supporting and growing OFA into a potent election machine would in many ways be a better post-presidential project than the Clinton Global Initiative.

    •  Obama's next job: (4+ / 0-)

      Community Organizer!

      That would be almost poetic .. he started as a community organizer and ends up as the nation's Community Organizer.  Getting people involved and keeping them involved in self-governance .. bringing the most dramatic form of change AFTER his time as President is over.

    •  I'm not sure... (0+ / 0-)

      The Clinton Global Initiative and the Carter Center have done excellent work for humanity, and it would not be meet to restrict the Obama Institute to one nation's politics.  It would give him a chance to earn his Nobel

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:40:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe. But the USA is a huge freaking lever (0+ / 0-)

        We can do WAY more as a country than we can do with private charities.  Compare what the Bill Gates foundation does with, say, the amount of money in the Stimulus bill.

  •  Why shouldn't OFA continue as a potent machine for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    txcatlin

    pushing a progressive agenda -- today, tomoorrow, and in the future -- not just at election time?

  •  i hope it stays alive to help with 2014 and 2016 (0+ / 0-)

    CRUSH THE CRAZY!

    Barack Obama is my favorite 3D Chess Player. Don't hate the player, Hate the game.

    by MasterHurrikane on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:36:44 AM PST

  •  Please Move to Ky and start right (0+ / 0-)

    now on Mitch McConnell's Retirement and empty out
    the Teabag Politicians!  If Mark Twain is right, it will take 25 years to get rid of them......

    To be undecided in this elect​ion is to pause​ for a moment and then ask how the chick​en is cooked.” ― David Sedaris

    by Paddy999 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 01:57:08 PM PST

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