Obama Building His Own Democratic Party

Candidate focuses on boosting top-to-bottom health through better infrastructure
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2008 1:23 PM CDT
Barack Obama talks with Howard Dean, right, the head of the Democratic National Committee, while in flight from Washington to Chicago Thursday, June 19, 2008.    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama is running as an “outsider candidate” fed up with partisan politics—yet he is, ironically, perhaps the most party-focused presidential candidate in history, Dana Goldstein and Ezra Klein write in the American Prospect. Obama has moved much of the Democratic National Committee apparatus to Chicago, rebuilt its fundraising infrastructure, and is even training organizers for other Democratic campaigns.

Obama’s staff is an incredibly sophisticated machine, built by the former chief of staff to Sen. Tom Daschle. Thanks to its congressional roots, Obama’s campaign has “an unusually sophisticated and holistic understanding of political power,” that understands Congress’ role in the president’s success. And with its image vastly improved, Obama needn’t shun the party—only the partisan gridlock that impedes its progress.