The Campaign Spot

Might as Well Rename This ‘The Permanent Campaign Spot’

William Beutler noted that he had received six e-mails from the Obama campaign asking for money, just in the first twelve days of the year. Earlier, Mickey Kaus asked, “Will Obama ever stop asking me for money?”

The answer, clearly, is no.

Now we know what all that post-election fundraising is for:

As Barack Obama builds his administration and prepares to take office next week, his political team is quietly planning for a nationwide hiring binge that would marshal an army of full-time organizers to press the new president’s agenda and lay the foundation for his reelection.
The organization, known internally as “Barack Obama 2.0,” is being designed to sustain a grass-roots network of millions that was mobilized last year to elect Obama and now is widely considered the country’s most potent political machine.

People familiar with the plan say Obama’s team would use the network in part to pressure lawmakers — particularly wavering Democrats — to help him pass complex legislation on the economy, healthcare and energy . . .

Though the plan still is emerging, one source with knowledge of the internal discussion said the organization could have an annual budget of $75 million in privately raised funds. Another said it would deploy hundreds of paid staff members — possibly one for every congressional district in certain politically important states and even more in larger battlegrounds such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina.

Interesting idea, but not clear if the momentum can be sustained. And while I think a lot of Obama voters are Obama voters, more loyal to the man than to his party, I wonder if they’ll be able to keep everyone on board when this grassroots network is called upon to, say, fight Barney Frank and Kent Conrad to ensure that tax cuts for middle-class families and businesses remain in the stimulus bill.

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