Michelle Obama introduces Organizing for Action, a new initiative by the Obama Administration to try and capture some of the grassroots power displayed during Obama's two elections.
In 2008, Barack Obama, with help from David Plouffe and David Axelrod, ran what was likely the best presidential campaign ever. The reason it was so good was how they stirred up a volunteer base that dwarfed anything from a previous campaign on either side. After Obama was elected, his staff tried to keep that energy going, and there was some momentum that went into the organizing around the healthcare debate, but that "debate" was a year-long train wreck (not the fun kind either) and the grassroots momentum reduced to a simmer until the summer of 2012.
Now, a new term for Obama with the same issue: how do they harness the incredible energy from his electoral effort into advocating for policy? If they could get even half of the grassroots momentum Obama had in October toward issues like immigration, climate change and electoral reform, Obama could have an advocacy juggernaut to work with.
That's why today, they introduced Organizing for Action (which, yes, has the same cadence of Obama's campaign name: Obama for America). It's an open-ended grassroots push to advocate for policy changes, in the hopes of giving Obama a swell of momentum in his second term.
Will it work? Hard to say. Campaigning is tiring, and without the drama of a coming election, it's hard to mobilize people. Still, they have last time to learn from, and they also have Michelle Obama. It's no accident that Michelle, one of the most charasmatic people in politics was tagged to make the introduction. If Organizing for Action can sustain some energy it would be a huge boost to Obama's second term priorities, and the volatile and current gun debate might be a great way to galvanize potential volunteers.