Political Office Is Gray Area at White House

Obama won't say he'll shutter nerve center of 'perpetual campaign'
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Nov 13, 2008 12:30 PM CST
In this June 6, 2008, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., left, huddles with then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. in Chicago. Emanuel, the hard-charging No. 3 Democrat in...   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama made transcending partisan politics part of his campaign pitch, but he remains noncommittal on a proposal to abolish the White House political office. A Reagan Administration creation, it played a vastly different role under Karl Rove than it had previously, Politico reports. John McCain has called for eliminating the office, as have good-government watchdogs.

Obama is still figuring out what to do with the personal data of millions of supporters his campaign amassed. That database may represent its own "grassroots lobbying force," Politico reports. Meanwhile, members of both parties argue that the political office is necessary. Running the White House without political input, says one Reagan strategist, is “like flying a plane without instruments.”