'Obama for America' to morph into 'Organizing for Action'
January 18th, 2013
10:37 AM ET
1 year ago

'Obama for America' to morph into 'Organizing for Action'

Washington (CNN) – As President Barack Obama begins his second term in the White House, the remaining structure of his re-election campaign will re-launch as a new political organization with a mission to advocate his agenda over the next four years.

CNN has confirmed that Obama for America will transform into a non-profit, tax-exempt group, that will attempt to leverage the re-election campaign's powerful grassroots organization and social media operation, as well as its rich voter database and vast email distribution list, to build up public support for the president as he pushes for agreements over the debt ceiling and the federal budget, gun control legislation, immigration reform, and other objectives.

A senior Democratic official with knowledge of the plans confirms to CNN that name of the new organization will be "Organizing for Action." The formal announcement will come Sunday, at an Obama campaign legacy conference being held in the nation's capital.

Jim Messina, who steered the 2012 Obama re-election campaign, will serve as national chairman of the new group, as first reported earlier this month. 

The new organization will be set up as a 501(c)4 group, which would allow the organization, by law, to accept unlimited contributions. The law also does not mandate that the names of donors have to be publicly disclosed. But a Democratic official says the new group will most likely voluntarily reveal its contributors.

An email to supporters Friday announcing the re-launch of OFA included a video of first lady Michelle Obama urging people to join the group.

"Let's be clear. All that hard work was about more than just one election. So if we want to finish what we started and truly make that change we believe in, we can't stop now," she said in the video. "That's the mission of 'Organizing for Action'–to build on the work that we've already done."

Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a left-leaning group which seeks to motivate grassroots support for political causes, said the re-formed OFA could be a positive development.

"If the president uses the gun fight as a model, proposes bold policies that fight corporate interests, and rallies the public behind those policies through OFA, he will be very successful," Green said. "If he cuts a bad deal with corporate interests and asks the grassroots to ratify that bad deal, the power of his email list will shrivel as people look for other places to put their activism."

Unlike four years ago, this time around the Obama campaign grassroots organization will not be stored in the Democratic National Committee. In early 2009 the remnants of the 2008 Obama presidential election campaign were put under the DNC. The operation was used to try and build up grassroots support for such first term fights over health care and Wall Street reform, which both narrowly passed through Congress and became law. There's some political disagreement over how successful the organization, known as Organizing for America, was in building up support for the president's first term agenda.

In April 2011, OFA was put back under the direction of the Obama campaign, with the launch of the 2012 re-election organization.


Filed under: OFA • President Obama
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. WillyNilly

    Finally, an organization where the vast middle of America can count on getting things done. Those of us who are not driven by the far left and the far, far right, the gun nuts, and the moral police will have a place to direct our dollars. Perhaps we can elect some people like us who are able to compromise for the benefit of the the nation.

    January 18, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Heath

    Great, the new version of the corrupt ACORN. Just what we need more corrupt non-profit organizations to waste time, money and and effort, all while distracting the American public. Did we not learn this lesson the first time?

    January 18, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Harry Kuheim

    Um...the Chinese Cultural Revolution was 50 years ago...and failed...how about let's just skip that part here in the US Comrades?

    January 18, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. John

    Congress needs an incentive to boost it's approval rating and this organization will provide such incentive. Time to replace "by the money for the money" with "by the people for the people'. I hope congress becomes more functional before it becomes irrelevant. The math: 9% approval = irrelevant.

    January 18, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What does the group plan on doing? That is an important question. Was any example of their goals or agenda given out?

    January 18, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. xonkd

    Being an ineffective leader and unable to work even with his own party in Congress, our President tries an end-around, with a propagnda machine,playing on the emotions of the people through smokescreens, grand lies and false narratives. Triumps higher tax rates for the wealthy but then gives 70% of the increased revenues back to his corprorate sponsors in tax breaks as a thank you for his re-election. Talks endlessly about saving the Bush tax cuts for the middle class but neglects to mention that he will let expire the 2% tax holiday which is a non-progressive blow to 77% of all Americans, all of whom are middle class. It's endless. Take a look at the Consumer Confidence index for january.

    January 18, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Bill

    This could be very dangerous for the American people. Think of the unlimited fund foreign governments and groups that can and will contribute to this “company” and use this powerful grass roots influence to change our laws for “their betterment” under the pretense of “Obama for America”! This already happens today so why create a bigger and belter machine to assist them in doing this? Please don’t be naïve and say it won’t happen our Gov’t today is living proof of how big money corrupts…. “Obama for America” is not going to turn away huge donations in the name of our best interests and freedom…..we are going to be further sold to the highest bidder and this special interests groups. Obama should see the grave error this is but he just can’t….he is selling us out once again!

    January 18, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Republicans are still scratching their heads, "How'd they do that?"

    January 18, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. judy

    great news the people will have a voice. I see the repos already trying to brand it a socialist thing. They are really sorry they did not think of this first. You all can go back to Norquist and the rove super pacs. Grass root supporters can get things done.

    January 18, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Organizing for America under the leadership of the BEST and most SUCCESSful "community organizer", organizing the world's most diverse and successful community,the USA, to better meet the needs of the people that comprise it.
    FORWARD AMERICA!

    January 18, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. PaulCat

    Great, sign me up!

    Then we can work on term limits.

    January 18, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "There's some political disagreement over how successful the organization, known as Organizing for America, was in building up support for the president's first term agenda."

    Interesting comment. Who exactly has expressed this political disagreement, CNN?

    January 18, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Sniffit

    "Being an ineffective leader and unable to work even with his own party in Congress, our President tries an end-around, with a propagnda machine"

    IOKIYAR

    January 18, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. SuperD

    This sickens me. This reeks of Communism. If we could only turn our guns on Democrats, this country could heal. But no, it's more poison as a cure.

    January 18, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Excuse me,
    The Framer's of the Constutition already did that. It's all over but the shouting. Too bad a lot of people forgot the Constutition. There is nothing holding you back but yourself. Try getting your feet wet and doing it yourself.

    January 18, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. Sniffit

    "This sickens me. This reeks of Communism."

    Oh? Do tell. We're all dying (of laughter) in anticipation of your explanation of your "reasoning" for that claim....

    /popcorn

    January 18, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Bill wrote:

    This could be very dangerous for the American people. Think of the unlimited fund foreign governments and groups that can and will contribute to this “company” and use this powerful grass roots influence to change our laws for “their betterment” under the pretense of “Obama for America”! This already happens today so why create a bigger and belter machine to assist them in doing this?
    -------------------–
    You're being most hypocritical, Bill. Tell that to Karl Rove and Dick Armey. At least OFA makes their books public.

    January 18, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. Gurgyl

    This nation is going in right direction. We passed healthcare, on gun-control, fuel-efficiency etc. true. Stocks are not faltering–still strong to say we capitalistic nation.

    January 18, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. Ancient Texan

    The start of "the brown shirt" brigade? The concentration camps are ready we hear.

    January 18, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |