Friday, November 21, 2008

The Populist President

Nice.

"Obama's building a political machine," said Stephen Hess, a presidential scholar at the Brookings Institution, a center-left Washington research group.

"These people have just opened up a new world for politics," added Hess, the author of "What Do We Do Now?: A Workbook for the President-Elect."

Pre-Internet presidents, he said, lacked the ability to communicate in real time with masses of their volunteers. In addition, the social networks such as MySpace and Facebook that link Obama's army together didn't exist.

The net effect was that pre-Obama political machines grew out of local politics and remained rooted there. Statewide or presidential candidates relied largely on local leaders' support.

Not so Obama, who, at least for now, has the allegiance of thousands of volunteers in most if not all congressional districts.

"Your hard work built this movement," Plouffe wrote them. "Now it's up to you to decide how we move forward."

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