Obama mobilizes grassroots supporters

January 30, 2009

President Barack Obama is mobilizing his grassroots supporters to help build support for his $825 billion economic stimulus package.

In an e-mail sent out Friday, former Obama campaign worker Mitch Stewart urged the campaign’s most ardent activists to host house parties on Feb. 6 to build support for the plan, which must still clear the Senate after passing the House on a sharply partisan vote on Wednesday.

“The economic crisis can seem overwhelming and complex, but you can help the people you know connect the recovery plan to their lives and learn more about why it’s important,” Stewart said.

It will be a first test for the new organization, Organizing for America, that was built to capture the momentum from Obama’s record-setting presidential campaign to help him enact his policies now that he’s president.

The new group, housed in the offices of the Democratic National Committee, retains Obama’s database of 13 million campaign supporters and has enlisted Stewart and several other campaign veterans to oversee it.

Stewart’s message suggests that the group will take a soft touch, at least initially, by seeking to build support at the grassroots level rather than getting members to lobby lawmakers directly.

Stewart sent the message to those who have already hosted Obama house parties. The organization said 4,200 members hosted house parties in December – how many will heed the call next week?

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Oh yes, let’s all host a party instead of lobbying to get this bill past the Senate!

Whilst not voting for Obama (basically the guy never won me over with his smarmy talk and inexperience) I seriously hoped he would live up to at least some of the hype. But the “change” just aint happening! The problems this country now face is a result of too much “partying” by the top dogs of major corporations, their huge salaries to match their huge egos and the ego driven politicians. Don’t they realise that the party is OVER! No more partying of any kind; all we have left is the hangover and all the mess with nobody knowing how to clean it up!

Posted by Noelle | Report as abusive

So Obama isn’t able to “bring people together” like he said all through the campaign. Well, when you sell snake oil, people don’t always buy into the charm. So now he is going to the grassroots because he knows the people who voted for him can be swayed with sweet talk.

Then in the end, we all suffer with the bad policy or law.

He isn’t any different than Bush, just says it a little bit smoother. He is trying to overextend as though he has an overwhelming mandate, but in reality he only got 52 percent of the vote. He doesn’t have a mandate to make the changes he wants to force upon us.

Good thing the republicans are doing the correct thing and not rolling over.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Yes But we know which party got us into this mess.

Posted by Wendy | Report as abusive

Wendy. Democrats and republicans got us into this mess. This isn’t something that just happened in the last eight years. It’s been more like 30 years.

It is short sighted and convenient thinking to blame the last administration for the beginning of time.

Back up your implication with fact. Your one line statement doesn’t give you any credibility.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

if the grass root support you are talking about are a sample of his buddies in chicago,then they should be body searched before leaving the white house party.the pillaging that went on when the clintons left,will like cookies missing from the cookie jar.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

If eight years and a sound economy, plus an increased support base in the second term of office, were not enough time, money and support to correct any faulty legislation and practices from previous administrations which may have led to the sub-prime mortgage crisis, then how much more time and money does a Presidency need to re establish financial responsibility in lending institutions? The problem is, the Republicans were all in favour of deregulation and a hands off approach. Other countries have much stricter laws for financial institutions ever since the Depression which served as a warning.

“The federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history.” From CNN White House Correspondent Kelly Wallace September 27, 2000

“The federal budget deficit soared to $454.8 billion in 2008 as a housing collapse and efforts to combat the economic slowdown pushed the tide of government red ink to the highest level in history……It surpassed the previous record of $413 billion set in 2004.” Washington Post October 14, 2008.

Posted by Wendy | Report as abusive

So the measures Obama wants to take now (2 trillion dollars?) is going to shrink the deficit? I don’t think so. There is no way going deeper into debt to get out of debt is going to solve anything. Hyper inflation is right around the corner with all the money being printed.

I don’t buy in to Clinton having a true surplus. That was just smoke and mirrors.

It’s fine to put all your faith into Obama, but nearly half the country doesn’t buy into his idea of change. Remember, he only won with 52 percent of the vote. Hardly a mandate to impose socialistic policies on us like he wants to.

The republican party is doing its job by standing fast to the changes Obama and the democrats in congress want to ram through and force on us.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

To all those standing arguing over who’s to blame, may I point the house is burning down and you’re in it? Or is the thought someone wants us to use our brains and consider what’s being done to combat the fire, in our names, with our money, too novel an idea or too much work for you?

Posted by Sharon | Report as abusive

That’s exactly my point Sharon. It isn’t just a democrat or republican problem that got us into this. It is too convenient, short sighted and complex for one party or person to have caused all the problems which led to this mess.

At the same time, it is foolish to just “let” Obama and the democrats pass legislation as though the entire country is behind their agenda. In fact, nearly half the country is not looking for the kind of change they want. At least with republican opposition, there is some check on that change. That is a good thing for all of us and will help to ensure good laws are written which take into account the various needs of the entire country, not just one half of it.

Since it is our money, the more debate that goes in to the process, a better and stronger nation will be the result.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

It’s all right to spend over a trillion dollars on war but not on creating jobs?

Posted by Wendy | Report as abusive

Hyperinflation is being offset by deflationary forces, i.e. falling demand for goods. It is still a real threat, however.

Clinton’s “surplus” was a way of saying the treasury took in more money than it spent. Government debt continued to rise, just not as fast as it does under “fiscally conservative” Republican administrations.

Obama won in a landslide, and Republicans suffered a crushing defeat across the ballot. Opposition vote suppression on the part of the ruling party is a fact around the world, including the United States. If all votes cast were counted, Obama won by a margin of 11.5%, not 7.5%.

The Republican party is doing its job? All they have EVER done is obstruct progress. During the 110th Congress, The 49-member Senate Republican minority did something no Senate minority has ever done: filibuster more bills than any Congress in American history — and they broke the record with a full year to spare.

“The strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail … and so far it’s working for us.”- Trent Lott.

So just for good measure, let’s ask a trivia question. When was the previous record set? That would be the 107th Congress — the last time Republicans were in the minority.

It took a while, but we’ve finally found what the minority party is good at. Congratulations, Republicans, for undermining the will of the people, and a much-needed policy agenda to a literally historic degree. If they keep this up, the next election cycle will sweep Republicans off the political landscape for generations.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Wendy. Do you actually read or watch the news? The wars supported by both the democrats and republicans when they started, have only cost 500 billion dollars. Also, it took 7 years to get to that point.

What Obama and the democrats want to spend this year alone is 1 trillion dollars (actually closer to 2 trillion, but for the sake of argument I will leave it at 1 trillion) in 2009 alone. It is unbelievable and it will lead to hyper inflation. The deflationary period we are in right now will reverse into hyper inflation if we allow that kind of spending to occur.

As for the republicans, it is their duty to stand firm against a spending plan filled with pork from passing in to law. They represent the 48 percent who are not with Obama, nearly half the country. Obama and congress do not have the mandate they think they have.

The democratic congress the past two years had their chance to change things. They chose to be obstructionist and as a result had a mere 11 percent approval rating. Bush was a very popular president with a 28 percent approval rating. So, to say the democrats weren’t and aren’t obstructionist, it just a bold face lie. It’s that kind of selective memory that ails this country.

It is good to have divided government because one party cannot ramrod bad policy through congress. That goes for democrat and republican alike. I didn’t like it when the republicans controlled congress and the presidency. I don’t like it now with the democrats in control. It’s a given that absolute power corrupts and the democrats will overextend. It always happens to the party in power…Always!!

Speaking of which. When has it been alright to not pay taxes and to be held accountable? It is a travesty that Geithner and Dashle are going to get away with not paying their taxes. It is not a mistake. But they will get away with it.

Regarding Bill Richardson, corruption forced him to withdraw from the commerce job. Then there is Charlie Rangel who hasn’t paid his taxes. Problem is, he is in charge of the tax writing committee in the House. But he will get a pass. So, I am sick and tired of hearing how virtuous the democrats are and the republicans are the evil money grubbers only out for themselves. The democratic party is full of tax cheats and money grubbers too.

Power corrupts…it has not party affiliation.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Obama took 365 electoral votes and over 52% of the popular vote. Bush never broke 300 electoral votes and in fact lost the popular vote in 2000 by a half million, and even then didn’t win the White House until a 5:4 vote of the five conservative members of the Supreme Court interfered in a political process for which there were statutes in place to deal with just such a situation as occurred in 2000. And are you contending, TC, that the Democratic party was nearly as antiregulation as the GOP was since Reagan? Because that is simply risible. Yes, in the end we all suffer with the bad policy or law, such as letting financial institutions act like spoiled brats who always want more candy, or invading a country that was in fact no real threat to us based on false and easily falsifiable “information” (I would have thought a president worthy of the name would have done his due diligence before engaging in such a reckless, lethal stunt). Compared to Bush (and even compared to Clinton), Obama has a mandate, and the consensus seems to have been that it was because of the tanking economy which the voters laid at the feet of the Republican party. After all, not only did they lose the White House, they lost even more ground in the House and nearly lost their filibuster majority in the Senate. If that’s not getting your bell rung, what is?

You’re right, Clinton didn’t create a true surplus when you consider all the possible and mandatory commitments of federal funds that exist at any one time. Supposedly the current actual national debt is something like $50 trillion instead of the figure normally given of something like $10 trillion, because the government has been borrowing from the Social Security trust fund for decades, putting in its place IOUs for which interest will of course have to be paid, the underfunded Pension Benefit Trust Corporation, the underfunded FDIC, and quite a few other underfunded programs that may need to be funded in a hurry if the perfect economic storm really hits. But even though we still had a national debt to pay off, what was the first thing Bush did when he won the White House? Cut everyone a check for $300. I remember; I still have my little taxpayer-funded letter he sent me saying the check was on the way. When did I receive it? About three weeks before we all realized we really did need to fund such inherently government functions as national defense, airline safety and security, intelligence services, judicial services. I’m just guessing here but I think the cost of just mailing out those letters exceeded the few thousands of dollars worth of ordinary wear and tear the Clintons put into the White House over eight years, discovered at the cost of a few millions of dollars spent by irrationally fanatical Republicans looking to smear him in any way they possibly could. So TC, brian lee, what we’re looking at now is the result of a bunch of dittoheads making policy for the country for the last eight years certainly, and having an overly undue influence on it since Reagan gave Rush sole possession of the public’s microphone when he rescinded the Equal Time doctrine in broadcasting over the public airwaves, in conjunction with a massive case of cognitive dissonance which means when someone is confronted with actual, verifiable facts which refute their core held beliefs, the tend not to change those beliefs but instead rationalize them further and further until what they believe is completely beyond the realm of reality. That’s where you people are now. Thanks a lot.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

And the wars supported by both parties? Not at the beginning. Back then it was all Repubs voting for with splits in both houses among the Dems. And just who was it who was accusing anyone who wasn’t with him as being on the side of the terrorists? That little old demagogue from Crawford. Don’t YOU ever read or watch real news, or do you get all your “information” from Rush, TC? Bush ended with an approval rating close to that of Nixon before he resigned, yet you consider that to be popular? What are you smoking, TC? And as Wendy noted the GOP Senate filibustered just about everything the Democrats tried to do in the last two years; could that be why their approval rating was so low? Where is it now by the way? As to paying taxes, Daschle has paid up as has Geithner; meanwhile the have mores still have their GOP sponsored tax cuts signed into law by, who else, George Bush. They never met a tax cut they didn’t demagogue as being the most important thing we could do to get our country on track. Wonder how they would have paid for WW II? “Well, that Hitler doesn’t look like such a menace to us, and we’ll just forgive the Japs that little Pearl Harbor thing. After all, we can’t afford it right now what with coming out of the longest, worst depression in known history, triggered by massive government non-regulation of Wall Street.”

You’re standing on quicksand, TC. Stop digging.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

You can try to convince the 48 percent of the country with your point of view which was filled with some very tenuous implications, but you can’t convince the 48 percent you know what you are talking about.

When you said Obama’s win “Compared to Bush (and even compared to Clinton), Obama has a mandate”. Well compared to nothing. It is still not a mandate. He only has 52 percent of the vote. So your assertion isn’t one based on fact, it is based on on one sided progressive liberal standpoint.

As for the election in 2000. Bush still won when Dick Gephardt and the democrats did a full recount of Florida six months after the recount. Guess what, the inconvenient fact is Bush still won.

As for the war, the congressional democrats were on board and voted for the war. Either that, or they were stupid because they didn’t do their own due diligence. It was a matter of they all had the same intelligence and the intelligence said something needed to be done. So democrats and republicans voted for the war. It’s a fact and in the record.

So anyway, your 52 percent doesn’t have the mandate you think you have and the other 48 percent is digging in as it should.

As I said, if you read to understand, democrats and republicans got us into this mess. Divided government works best. If you think one party rule is a good answer, then you deserve the socialist state you are going to get and then you won’t like it when you are told how to live every part of your life.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Conservatives called Bush’s questionable victory in 2004 a “mandate”. Why isn’t Obama’s landslide victory in 2008 a mandate?

As to 2000, when eight news organizations and the University of Florida counted ALL the ballots, Gore won under every standard. If the approximately 50,000 Florida citizens who were illegally removed from the voter rolls had been permitted to vote, it would not have even been close. Bush won because of legal maneuvering, not because people voted for him. You know this.

As to the war. Democrats certainly did not have access to the same intelligence, because the Bush White House was only showing them the intel it had approved. Any intel that did not support their plan to invade Iraq was rejected. You know this as well as everyone else.

The mandate. In the 2008 election, the recorded count was 123 million votes, but 143 million votes were cast. Many voters were told they had to complete provisional ballots, or were told their names had been purged from voter rolls. Historically, about 75% of uncounted votes, spoiled, lost, provisional and absentee, are Democratic. Do the math. Obama’s 8 million vote margin increases to 18 million, a landslide rivaling Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan. Remember Reagan? They kept saying he had a mandate. Why not Obama?

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

More of the same then.

Posted by Wendy | Report as abusive

I don’t play the “well they said then, so why not now” game. You can play that silly game all you want, it matters not to me.

You are still using tenuous assertions and that is fine too. I guess you want to live in the past, I am merely commenting on the present. Unfortunately I allowed myself to get caught up in your misplaced anger from the past which, as I already said, are based on tenuous assertions.

52 percent is no mandate. Nothing more needs to be said to back up that fact. 48 percent are not behind the president so the republicans are doing their job in defending what nearly half the country (and I suspect some of the voters to voted for the democrats and Obama) are no beginning to realize now. That the change they voted for is not the change they are getting with this shameful “stimulus?” package. Which is no stimulus at all.

Anyway, on to other discussions. It’s been fun, sort of.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Just keep living in denial, TC. It’s what got us into this mess in the first place, believing things that were demonstrably untrue.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

obama,s liberal supporters have set the bar that high for him,and their expectations of him are so great,the chance of him not being the greatest president ever is not even a possibility in their minds.this unfortunately is setting him up for failure.he is tying to be get them to be realistic about the task in hand,and also because of the presses campaign to portray him as a rock star it is going to be very difficult,anything but the best is going to be considered a failure.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

“I don’t play the “well they said then, so why not now” game”
Well, of course you don’t. That would mean having to accept responsibility for your words and deeds, something conservatives are not familiar with.

My “tenuous assertions” are all backed up by fact. As I said, use Google.

That “opposition party” (obstruction party is more like it) did come up with a plan of their own this morning. Sen. Jim DeMint is pushing the Senate GOP’s alternative, “American Option: A Jobs Plan That Works.” DeMint’s plan will cost $3.1 trillion over ten years, more than 3.5 times the cost of Obama’s.


Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Nero fillibusters while Rome burns.

Posted by Wendy | Report as abusive

Here is a good one for you, only 38 percent of the nation supports the so called stimulus bill as it stands now.

Yeah, those obstructionist republicans are heros for alerting us to the sham which the progressive liberal democrat Obama and congress are trying to force on us.

This is the way government is supposed to be, there should be a fight so whatever is passed into law is good for America.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

More than 11 countries, including Germany, Japan and now the UK are in recession and the Republicans think they’re still in office.

Posted by Wendy | Report as abusive