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.
When first reading of this organization, which is being called “Barack Obama 2.0”, I simply thought it to be the foundation of a perpetual campaign. I believe my first impression was mistaken, it looks to be much more than that.
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
I find the above more crafty than disturbing, while the following I find irksome as well as foreboding.
In what would be another unprecedented step, Obama’s political staff is deciding whether to create a service organization that would use the vast corps of its grass-roots campaign supporters. As described by one source knowledgeable with the discussions, this nonprofit arm would be used to help victims of natural disasters, but would do so under the Obama umbrella while continuing to build the overall network’s massive e-mail database.
The prospect of a president being able to guide a service or relief agency outside the framework of his government is a unique development.
A political party with one central figure who leads not just the nation or a particular political body, but also leads a group which holds more loyalty to a man than to party or country.