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
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- California's epic drought
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
Subscribe to the Week