Organizing for America

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Obama announces Organizing for America

Organizing for America OFA was the rebranded successor to Obama for America, the election campaign organization for Barack Obama in 2008. It was moved into and run by the Democratic National Committee to mobilize support for Obama's policy agenda.[1]

The new version is called Organizing for Action, started in 2013 by Barack Obama and his team including Jim Messina, Jon Carson and others who have also worked for or financially supported Obama. It was calling itself "non-partisan" and "educational," composed of the massive database of funders to Obama's 2012 campaign. [2]


Organizing for America is essentially a nation-wide lobby organization to promote and build support for Obama's political agenda, the latest incarnation of what some such as reporter Ari Melber have called "Obama 2.0" composed of his many millions of technologically-connected supporters and contributors linked by his having their 13 million email addresses and millions of cell phone numbers for instant text messages. The scope and technological sophistication of the organization is unprecedented for any previous president. "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) [January 17, 2009]. "That's why I'm asking people like you who fought for change during the campaign to continue fighting for change in your communities."[3]

"The announcement follows month of debate among Obama's political aides about how best to leverage his record-shattering campaign organization as a tool to help Obama in office," noted Marc Ambider in The Atlantic. "Legal questions, too, arose about coordination between the Democratic National Committee and the campaign entity, which possesses the 13-million person e-mail, telephone and contact list that powered Obama's political activity."[4]

Coordination with the White House

The New York Times reported that "there will be clear coordination between this independent operation at the Democratic National Committee and a communications arm being set up at the White House, under Macon Phillips, the “new media” director for Mr. Obama’s administration. Mr. Phillips was an Internet strategist with Blue State Digital, a private firm closely tied to Mr. Obama’s campaign. His team signaled the new direction Mr. Obama is bringing with a redesigned White House Web site that was introduced shortly after Mr. Obama was sworn in and is modeled after his campaign site. It will be continually updated to add presidential orders and blog postings that make the case for administration policy, often echoed by talking points that Organizing for America is sending to supporters."[5]

Mobilizing for Obama's budget

In March 2009, what OFA advisor David Plouffe called the "first major engagement" of OFA was launched, to build support for Obama's budget proposal. On March 15, OFA sent "an e-mail asking volunteers to go door to door Saturday to urge their neighbors to sign a pledge in support of Obama's budget plan. ... A midweek follow-up message to the mailing list will ask volunteers to call the Hill -- the first time the OFA e-mail database has been used to urge direct contact with Congress in support of legislation." [6]



Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. DNC Announces Key Staff for Organizing for America. Democratic National Committee (news release) (January 23, 2009). Retrieved on January 23, 2009.
  2. New group seeks to ‘strengthen progressive movement’, Boston Globe, February 25, 2013.
  3. Chris Cillizza, "Obama Announces "Organizing for America", "The Fix" (blog), Washington Post, January 17, 2009.
  4. Marc Ambinder (January 17, 2009). "Obama For America Becomes Organizing For America", The Atlantic. Retrieved on January 24, 2009. 
  5. Jim Rutenberg and Adam Nagourney, Retooling a President’s Grass-Roots Network, New York Times Jan. 26, 2009.
  6. Chris Cillizza, "Obama Enlists Campaign Army In Budget Fight," Washington Post, March 16, 2009.

External resources

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