President-elect Barack Obama announced the formation of a new group known as “Organizing for America” that aims to continue the grassroots advocacy that the former Illinois Senator began in his presidential campaign.
“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) this morning. “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 will be the flagship of “Obama 2.0” as many people have taken to calling the transformation of the political organization created during the 2008 campaign.
The new group will work within the Democratic National Committee — led by Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine — to advance the Obama agenda. “President-elect Obama has laid the foundation to meet the great challenges facing our nation, but we can succeed only if we build grassroots support for the administration’s agenda,” said Kaine in a release announcing the formation of Organizing for America.
The new group had been long expected within Obama’s inner circle and, although no details on how it would be staffed were released by the transition office today, it is expected that longtime Obama loyalists will be placed in charge — following the blueprint set out at the DNC.
It’s clear that Obama recognizes the power that his email list, which boasts more than 13 million names, represents in American politics and is working to ensure it stays within the control of a small group who are charged with protecting the Obama brand.