Organizing For America: A Test Run

By Marc Ambinder

Organizing for America, the current incarnation of the Obama campaign, considers its economic recovery meeting program a huge success.  How so? Without ground organizers, they held 3,600 meetings in all 50 states and Americans submitted more than 31,030 stories about their economic plight.  See them here.  Here's my question: what happens now?  Did these stories influence Congress? Or was this more of an exercise... a way to see how Obama supporters would respond to a call. No, I'm told, the point was to gather the stories to post them in a way that puts a human face on the crisis.   But.. who's looking at the website?  Local newspapers and TV stations, according to Obama political aides. The goal is to get local coverage from all of the stories.  We'll see.  The scale of the response has been impressive, but its effects and ultimate purpose are unclear.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/02/organizing-for-america-a-test-run/595/