[Marxism] Obama Campaign Network vis-a-vis the Democratic Party

Sukla Sen suklasenp at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Dec 11 01:35:39 MST 2008

The uniqueness of the Obama phenomenon is that it
could cause a social wave of very significant
proportions around the platform of Change and Hope.
Obama himself cannot be too oblivious of the fact that
without this he could never have had won the DP
nomination let alone win the Presidential race.

It would be nothing less than a tragedy if his
campaign network is now dissolved instead of
functioning as a campaign team to realise the election
promises and more than that the vision generated.

Obama himself cannot be too unaware of the severe loss
of his bargaining power within the DP and the larger
"system" if it so happens. But too scared of
antagonising the entrenched bosses, even if he caves
in, all efforts must be made to maintain an autonomous
life for this network on the basis of issues. That's,
however, much easier said than done.

Obama seeks peace between new, traditional backers

By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer Philip
Elliott, Associated Press Writer – Tue Dec 9, 3:08 am

CHICAGO – President-elect Barack Obama is refereeing a
struggle between liberal activists, who want to help
their candidate score rapid wins in Washington, and
party traditionalists who would turn his powerful
grass-roots organization over to the Democratic
National Committee.

Any mishandling by Obama and his aides could cost him
support from factions that were crucial to his Nov. 4
victory and that remain important to his hopes of
launching a smooth administration in January.

A top Obama aide sent a note this weekend to
progressive activists, imploring them to cool down and
let Obama govern. Other aides are helping Obama decide
what to do with the campaign's massive mobilizing
tools, which include millions of e-mail addresses of
citizens with proven records of giving Obama money or
other means of support.

Many of Obama's younger and more liberal supporters —
sometimes collectively called "netroots" because the
Internet is their chief communications tool — want to
remain a political and social force that is not
subsumed by the Democratic Party.

"This can't just be about Obama or the Obama
movement," said Jonathan Singer, a blogger at the
progressive MyDD. "It has to be greater than that."

Singer and others do not want the far-flung,
electronically connected army to become nothing more
than a DNC e-mail list.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe sent an e-mail to
supporters last week, asking them what should happen
to Obama's enormous political operation. About a
half-million answered, many suggesting they want the
campaign's sense of an online community to continue
after Inauguration Day.

Obama aides say no firm decision has been made,
although many believe the operation — including the
massive e-mail lists and detailed demographic
information about supporters — eventually will be
folded into the DNC, typically charged with running
the incumbent president's re-election. Other options
would be to create a political action committee or an
advocacy group. Those would be more palatable to
grass-roots leaders who believe they should keep some
control of the organization.

"It is an open dialogue," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt
said. "No structural decisions have been made."

Some Obama supporters already are adapting campaign
techniques to the post-campaign environment. More than
15,000 plan house parties this week as part of an
early test of the president-elect's ability to
mobilize voters after the election. Advisers say such
activities might help Obama push legislation through a
Congress that, although controlled by Democrats, may
balk at some of the new administration's plans.

Of those who answered Plouffe's survey, 65 percent
said helping Obama pass legislation should be the top

For decades, politicians have sought ways to harness
public sentiment to help them outflank troublesome
opponents, news organizations and rival interest
groups. Obama's vast network can be a powerful weapon
if he can control it, or a dangerous and unpredictable
force if he cannot.



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