Enthusiastic supporters cheer President Obama on Nov. 1, 2012. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
In one of the most significant and potentially groundbreaking political announcements in decades, President Obama’s re-election team announced they are transforming their campaign operation into a permanent advocacy organization called Organizing for Action.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, who will head up the new entity, told campaign donors in an email that it was "the next phase of this movement."
He added: "If we can take the enthusiasm and passion that people showed throughout the campaign and channel it into the work ahead of us, we will be unstoppable."
The goal of the new group is to bring grassroots support to advancing President Obama’s second term agenda. But the move also upends the Democratic Party as the president has essentially admitted he cannot rely on the Democratic National Committee to adequately help him push his agenda.
He's taken the concept of the "permanent campaign" to a new level.
As First Read notes, the new group could also become Obama's "personal vehicle post-presidency, a la Bill Clinton's Clinton Global Initiative."
While the political upside for the president is clear, the unprecedented move also carries huge risks. Never before has a sitting president had an organization linked to his personal goals and future aspirations that can accept essentially unlimited donations.
Reports indicate the group will have full disclosure of its donors but the potential for conflicts of interest are very real and if not monitored carefully could end up derailing the president’s agenda instead of advancing it.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- What Keeping Up with the Kardashians can teach America about interracial marriage
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The single best way to help your kid succeed at school
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
- Today in history: Lincoln reveals the real goal of the Civil War
Subscribe to the Week