Speaking to a liberal summit in Washington today, Organizing for America director Mitch Stewart outlined how the DNC is tapping Obama’s campaign network to advance the administration’s agenda.
The presidential campaign is history, of course, but about 14 million Obama supporters still receive emails from Stewart, David Plouffe and Obama himself. That communication and organizing guidance helps supporters act as "message machines" for Obama’s agenda, Stewart said, from telling "friends about why health care reform is so urgently needed" to demonstrating a united front for Judge Sotomayor’s nomination.
Stewart also distinguished between "on the clock" outreach, like canvasing for signatures backing the administration’s budget, and "off the clock" persuasion, when people can casually advocate policies while "hanging out" with friends. OFA has now deployed organizers to 30 states, Stewart announced, with the goal of eventually covering every state.
Stewart spoke on a panel about "Progressives in the Age of Obama" at the America’s Future Now conference. In a question and answer session, Stewart responded to concerns that OFA’s health care push may be too vague — a point I’ve raised before — and Stewart said OFA’s role was to advance "broad principles" and broadcast regular people’s stories, while deferring to Congress on policy details.