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Obama’s Battlelines Are Drawn

President Obama “They’re gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is “So am I.”

It’s Bye Bye Bi-Partisanship

In the President’s radio broadcast titled “Keeping Promises” on Saturday the 28th of February the battlelines between his White House administration and all and sundry budget opponents were finally drawn. 

The principal protagonists? The White House supported by Obama volunteers, versus the Grand Old Obstructionist Party (sometimes known as the Republican Party or GOP) plus the usual hired lobbyists and campaigns for vested interests. However the President has a powerful longer term goal in reserve. Democratic control of the Senate and an increased majority in the House following midterm elections in 2010.

Obama Picks Up the Gauntlet

Bi-partisanship? Already rejected by the GOP. For now, it’s best to forget it. Numbers to pass  the President’s legislative bills are what matters most. Without the necessary numbers in Congress, the President’s plans are at risk. Republicans are not the only ones who want this President to fail. His broad radical budget agenda has guaranteed that. Threatened vested interests are about to launch their attacks. In his radio broadcast on Saturday, President Obama picked up the gauntlet.

A Call to Arms

With perfect timing, The President used his broadcast as a resounding call to arms saying, “I realize that passing this budget won’t be easy.  Because it represents real and dramatic change, it also represents a threat to the status quo in Washington. I know these steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they’re gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them – is this: “So am I.”

Let the Battles Begin

Fighting words if ever I heard them. This is a President who has no illusions about the forces lining up against him. Some may be Democrats who can’t be relied on. Now is the time to look for their replacements. The Commander in chief has answered the challenge from the status quo. Now he will have to rely on outside organised DNC forces in all 50 states. A weaker control structure than that managed by “Obama for America” during his brilliant presidential campaign.

Organising for America

With David Plouffe (Obama’s former campaign manager) overseeing part time the new national volunteer networkOrganising for America” (OFA), Obama’s former Iowa Caucus Director, Mitch Stewart, as OFA’s full time Executive Director has been given the responsibility by the DNC for managing the group, and for achieving President Obama’s goals. 

With a number of copy cat groups appearing, these gentlemen will need to eliminate any ambiguity in setting objectives and strategy for OFA groups and in activating OFA’s field force. One immediate task must involve highlighting the Obama budget’s benefits whilst sidelining and discrediting the ideas of the status quo to ensure passage of the President’s budget proposals.

In addition, OFA activity in the field will need to persistently target and expose Republican obstructionists in all states. In particular, those GOP Senators standing for re-election in 2010.

A Clear Strategic Plan

The election of a President who is determined to keep his campaign promises has been achieved. However, winning the Presidency by itself does not provide for real change unless control of both houses in Congress can be delivered. Obviously this is Mr Obama’s next strategic political goal. That way he can be assured of getting major legislation enacted with his intentions and policies mostly intact.

OFA in the meantime will need all of the field volunteers it can get.

The battle for a new America has begun.



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  1. Very well said. Thank you for your erudite, yet easy to “get”, explanation of what lays ahead.

    After a rather heated disagreement regarding Obama’s assault weapons ban, with a Mr. D. Jackson and Paul Daghlian, who apparently said he is running against the much respected Earl Bleumenaur,(sp.?) I came to realize, the time to act is NOW! I appreciate your well timed notice.

    Posted by Regina | March 3, 2009, 1:09 am
  2. I am not surprised to see the GOP behave in this manner. The battle for a new America … I could hardly have said it better. I’m ready for this fight … not for myself … but for my two young grandsons who are too young to fight these forces right now, but who will inherit the mess handed down to them from the GOP, minus what Obama has the time and energy and backing to repair. I’m already working to help the forces of good, if I am allowed to use that terminology. Thanks, John

    Posted by John Moffitt | March 3, 2009, 5:43 am
  3. Most of the original “there at the beginning” Obamanistas realized that the 2008 election was “only the beginning.” We are ready and more than willing to go to work to ensure that we get the change we need. It would be nice if we didn’t have to keep “at it.” But, that was never a possibility, and we’ve always known that.

    Posted by Carol | March 3, 2009, 9:49 am
  4. I agree with you that the battle against the old guard GOP will be a tough one. Even more urgent in my mind is the need for OFA to assert its position as the leader of this movement and reconnect with the volunteers of the campaign. The emergence of so many splinter groups will dilute our effectiveness as a whole and create competition amongst eachother for recognition as we busily reinvent the already existing wheel.

    Posted by Marla | March 3, 2009, 12:34 pm
  5. I like this write-up, though I don’t accept it’s either/or [anymore] when it comes to organizing.

    The vast work to coordinate campaigns across the country will be OFA’s, but the groups already organizing and bringing more people into the activist fold are not competition – they supplement OFA. I was also worried it would dilute efforts, but organizers of those groups are assuring me it’s not a competition.

    Honestly? I’ve never seen the more radical groups agree to not undermine our President’s agenda, and to instead fortify our activism with their pre-existing memberships. I think the more the Republicans chew each other up, the more we see that our unity is a top priority.

    We are unifying many groups of individuals for change, again, and it was Obama’s purpose all along to make this a civic habit.

    Now, everyone, please, find out who is up for election locally, regionally, state-wide. If the choices look uninspiring, identify the ones who inspire. Let’s get behind the ones who will carry this Battle to Victory!

    This Spring and Summer, we identify them. Starting this Fall, we work ourselves into the ground for them.

    It’s never too early to identify resources for fundraising, outreach, registration and getting out the vote! We know how it’s done. Let’s prepare the logistics and start recruiting and training, now! When OFA sounds the battle horns, our contingents will be ready, willing and able.

    Posted by VCubed | March 3, 2009, 7:12 pm
  6. You give me a feeling of relief just to hear that your analysis of the situation in general as we see our new President being challenged. You set the panorama incisively and are right on target. We really do have forces ‘eating mightily’ away at us from numerous angles. I particularly appreciate the fact you mention the copycat groups that feel as if they want to divide supporters from the ‘inside out’. The worse threat is from the opportunisitc CAN organization which sprang up almost immmediately after the election and in some areas. were actually helping get out the vote in FLA, I discovered. They claim to be ‘helping fill the void’ until OFA2.0 re-emerges as a reoriented post-campaign grassroots movement, but CAN is showing no signs of evaporating back into the official network of OFA now that “official” Field Organizers are identifying themselvesand beginning to pick up the reins of the organizing effort all across the nation. Why is CAN doing this? It concerns us because it has often enough disseminated information and stated goals that do not have anything todo with OFA2.0’s. Such as proposing to seek support for a movement to extend Presidential team limits via a Constitutional Amendment!

    Other aspects of CAN’s opportunism is that in many mailings it has purported to ‘speak’ for the D.C. OFA. Many people are not aware that CAN is not the official grassroots network and have joined it — drawing energy, and loyalty away from OFA and causing confusion. As you said, we don’t need this! Especially at this delicate time as Obama struggles to put his policies in motion. Add the financial crisis, a backlog of diplomatic regeneration to do, and other pressing domestic issues, and we have amassed an incredible array of issues to stay on top of as the first 100 days unfold. Thank you, John, for writing so clearly about all this.

    Posted by Marcia Riquelme | March 4, 2009, 12:40 am
  7. You’ll have to tell the president which assault weapons ban you’re talking about, Regina. I think Mr. Holder may have been shooting from the hip when he started talking gun grabbing. Mrs. Pelosi seems to think America has enough gun laws and Mr. Obama seems to agree with her. I didn’t spend 50 days on Obama’s campaign to be characterized as anti-Obama. I think the president is on the right track in a number of areas, particularly foreign affairs, though I wish he’d minimize our role in Afghanistan. And I wish Mr. Obama would renegotiate NAFTA, as promised. I’d renegotiate us the hell out of the damned treaty. By the way, I’ll probably run against Walden in the primary, not against Blumenauer.

    Paul Daghlian

    Posted by Paul Daghlian | June 6, 2009, 3:55 am
  8. This is what we need – an insight to make evenyore think

    Posted by Dany | May 30, 2016, 9:08 pm