Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Reformation of the Democratic Party

Two interesting articles have come out of recent. One by Matt Stoller at HuffPost and the other by Ben Smith at Politico. Both site the amazing behind the scenes reformation of the Democratic Party.

Mr. Smith examines the efforts of the Obama campaign to dissuade donors from giving to 527s such as America Votes and Progressive Media USA and even MoveOn.org. He quotes Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

“From the beginning of this race Obama has told supporters that if they want to help his effort, they should do so through his campaign,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton, who confirmed that Pritzker (the campaign finance chief) has told donors not to give to the groups. “And he means exactly what he says.”

Mr. Smith elludes this to the more broad consolidation of the democratic party under the House of Obama which Mr. Stoller examines.

According to Stoller Obama is sloughing away the old party sytem and installing a new party infrastructure. Mr. Stoller says of the Democratic Primary, " The primary has been exceptionally good for party building. Obama has created a number of significant infrastructure pieces through his campaign, displacing traditional groups the way he promised he would by signaling the end of the old politics of division and partisanship."

But just how has he done it?

It all goes back to his community organizer days and taking advantage of the times.

His website which was helped design by the same people that brought us Facebook, has been the cornerstone for his successful campaign financing. With over 1.5 million donors (who've yet to meet the contribution limits) he's breaking records for soliciting small donations. But not only has it been crucial for financing it's also been a great source of material to maintain a consistent message with video, multimedia, and printable literature. And it's been a forum for volunteers and supporters to voice suggestions about grassroots efforts and for bringing people in the fold by giving detailed information on local events.

But it's not only a web campaign, it's also the personal connection of the incredible array of volunteers. And it's all about mobilization. He's developed a leadership training program for "super volunteers" called Obama Fellows where unpaid volunteers are trained in successful ways of getting out the message and remaining consistent. The Obama campaign recently kicked off a GOTV campaign in all 50 states utilizing his base to go everywhere and make sure that anyone and everyone that's eligible is registered and at the same time have access to their contact information whether it be via text, telephone, or e-mail.

Mr. Stoller though doesn't just limit this organization to Obama's immediate future in the general election, he concludes with much circumstantial evidence that the model Mr. Obama has successfully created will replace the current model as perfected under - you guessed it - Bill Clinton's campaign from the 90's. Let the Reformation (Revolution) begin.

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