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May 9, 2008

the effects of Obama's organization

Senator Obama has 1.5 million donors, countless volunteers, a massive email list, and additional layers of organization, such as his trained "organizing fellows." What does this mean for the future of politics and government?

Matt Stoller argues that Obama will have tremendous power within the Democratic Party. His supporters are even deliberately trying to de-fund alternative sources of power, such as America Votes.

Marc Ambinder reports that the Obama campaign is going to organize "more than a million donors and volunteers to directly persuade their neighbors through a variety of media" during the campaign, thereby bypassing the news media.

And Steve Teles and I argue that Obama has a chance to pass major legislation, such as health care reform, if he uses his organized base as a grassroots lobbying force after the election. We wrote this when the argument was Obama vs. Clinton. Our idea was that Obama would have a better chance to pass legislation because of his organizing campaign. Now the contrast with Clinton seems moot (to me), but the prospect of massive grassroots lobbying remains interesting. Power over the party, the media, and Congress--that is something to think about.

May 9, 2008 5:35 PM | category: none


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