Obama's Grassroots Army Ponders Next Move

Broad movement may dissipate if asked to work toward merely party-oriented goals
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 14, 2008 1:48 PM CST
A supporter wearing a T-shirt of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama watches the live broadcast of the US election results at a restaurant in Beijing.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s campaign bred a network of grassroots activists who subscribed to the “Obama brand,” not necessarily the Democratic party. As Obama prepares for office, his advisers are split, the Los Angeles Times reports: Should the powerful grassroots operation remain separate from the party’s, mobilized to create consensus and push through reforms—or should the two be merged?

In presidencies past, the campaign has fused with the party. But those who built Obama’s campaign fear such a melding could scare off a key bloc of Obama supporters who don’t want to fight for a purely Democratic agenda. “If it’s in the party, that's a way to kill it,” said a campaign organizer. But some top Obama strategists prefer to stick with tradition.