I think it is fascinating. Watching this dance between the upstart, now President, and the party machine.
Obama and Kaine will now thread the needle. Many Indies, more "unenrolleds" and some Republicans will not gather under a donkey flag. Since they put the "swing" in the swing states, a new construct must be assembled.
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.
The prospect of a president being able to guide a service or relief agency outside the framework of his government is a unique development.
Though the campaign-style organizing network would be operated through the Democratic National Committee, the new service organization is envisioned as a separate nonprofit. Obama recently appointed his friend Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia as chairman of the DNC and his campaign battleground states director, Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, as executive director.
Some top Obama organizers, such as former deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand, had argued that the grass-roots machinery should be kept separate from the DNC to avoid alienating Republicans and independents who were inspired by Obama but could be turned off by a close association with the Democratic Party. But those organizers are not part of the inner circle drafting the plan.
Obama's presidential campaign generated a database of 13 million e-mail addresses and tens of thousands of phone bank volunteers and neighborhood coordinators. Strategists believe these assets can grow in the years before Obama runs again.
Concerns about Obama's ambitions are coming from state party leaders as well as from Capitol Hill.
Barack Announces Organizing for America
Organizing for America will continue the work of the largest grassroots movement in history. Volunteers, grassroots leaders, and ordinary citizens will drive this organization and help bring about the changes we proposed during the presidential campaign.
"Right now all 50 of the state chairs are on pins and needles," said Oklahoma Democratic chairman Ivan Holmes. "It's possible they could undo in one year what it's taken four years for Dean to do if they don't embrace the 50-state strategy financially, and let the chairs have input on who they hire and what their duties are."
A larger concern expressed at the Winter Meeting is that the DNC could become — in the words of one state party executive director — "too Obama-centric."
The plan to fold Obama's campaign apparatus into the DNC — creating a shop called "Organizing for America" that will use tools like an enormous email list to promote the new president’s policy agenda — has some wondering where that leaves the rest of the committee.