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Organizing for America Gears Up

By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 18, 2010 3:40PM

Since the State of the Union, the Obama Administration has taken a more hands on approach to moving its agenda forward. Taking questions at the House Republican annual retreat in Baltimore on national television, offering to meet with congressional leadership on health care reform in front of C-SPAN cameras, and just generally getting out of the White House and in front of the American people have all been part of this strategy. And earlier this year Obama brought wunderkind David Plouffe back on board to manage Organizing for America, the political arm of the Obama campaign that built a broad network of supporters and helped win the election in 2008. As part of that national strategy to reconnect with supporters, OfA will host a strategy session in Illinois's 10th Congressional District next month. "Organizing for America staff will be there to update you on the year ahead, and we'll work together to create the local strategy that will accomplish our goals for this year," read the release.

One of the critiques of Organizing for America is that what was once a venerable campaign operation took its tremendous list of contacts and turned it into a mailing list for White House videos and presidential holiday greetings. As Politico's Ben Smith pointed out "the group's sole channel for communication with supporters has been given over, critics say, to happy talk and gimmicks, without an acknowledgment that the members — a generally educated, motivated group who pay close attention to politics — might have real concerns about Obama's direction and would be puzzled by e-mails claiming that Republicans, rather than centrist Democratic senators, were stalling health care legislation." Meeting with grassroots supporters in key congressional districts will play a big role in the president's mid-term election strategy.