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Obama Will Take Budget Pitch to the People

Will attempt to rally public support for his compromise

(Newser) - President Obama learned some hard lessons during last year's debt ceiling talks, and he's heading into the new round to avoid the fiscal cliff determined to take his case to the people. Rather than "hunkering down" with congressional leaders behind closed doors for weeks—a strategy that... More »

Obama Campaign Co-Chairs: Eva Longoria, Kal Penn

Hollywood VIPs will play role in Election 2012

(Newser) - The Obama campaign has released a list of campaign co-chairs, and it includes some big names … from Hollywood. Harold and Kumar actor Kal Penn, who has already spent some time working at the White House , and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria are both named, Politico reports. "The president’... More »

Small Donors Gave 48% of Obama's 2011 Donations

That's more than double the proportion from 2007: analysis

(Newser) - President Obama continues to be successful raising money through small donations—and this time around, he's outpacing his campaign from four years ago. Last year, almost half of the money raised by the president's re-election campaign came from donors who gave $200 or less in total, a new... More »

Rove Group's Only Donors: Billionaires

American Crossroads says it's a 'grassroots' organization

(Newser) - Need proof that the term “grassroots” has become a meaningless political buzzword? Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group, which has occasionally used the term, is funded almost exclusively by four billionaires, according to Salon . And two of the four made their money in the oil and gas industry. It’... More »

Chamber of Commerce Flexes Muscles, Goes Grassroots

Thanks to Supreme Court ruling, group's power skyrockets

(Newser) - The US Chamber of Commerce has become so powerful it almost rivals the major parties, thanks in part to recent Supreme Court rulings that have given its fundraising operations a shot in the arm. Flush with cash, the group has launched a concerted grass-roots operation, signing up 6 million individuals... More »

Outside DC, Palin's Still a Star

VP candidate popular, but she may have goofed with resignation

(Newser) - Call her a quitter or a laughingstock, but Sarah Palin is still one of the most popular figures in the Republican Party—as admired by local leaders as she is doubted in Washington. A Politico survey of grassroots GOP members nationwide found particular support for her among Westerners, many of... More »

On Health Care, Dean Gives Obama a Pain

Passed over for administration post, ex-doc plagues prez

(Newser) - By now, President Obama may wish he’d brought Howard Dean into the administration, because the former doctor has become his top left-wing antagonist on health care reform, the Hill reports. Dean has spent the summer advancing his views on the topic, and though the White House is backing away... More »

Health Battle Tests Obama Grassroots Group

Organizing for America struggles to become force for policy activism

(Newser) - For Jeremy Bird, deputy director of Organizing for America, the battle for health care reform takes the shape of the numerous meetings he’s had with discouraged volunteers across Wisconsin this weekend. The OFA network is smaller and underfunded compared with its campaign-era version, and volunteers feel “outshouted” by... More »

Obama Urges Activists to Retake Health Care Debate

White House struggles to regain message control

(Newser) - President Obama urged the grassroots activists who helped him so much in the presidential campaign to do the same in the health care debate, Politico reports. “Now come on," the president told members of Organizing for America in a conference call today. "The best ambassadors for true... More »

Insurer Urges Employees to Protest Health Care Reform

UnitedHealth Group lays down AstroTurf

(Newser) - UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s second-biggest health insurance firm, has been encouraging employees to attend events protesting health-care reform, Talking Points Memo reports. In a clear-cut example of “Astroturf”—fake grassroots action—a memo to employees urges them to call an “advocacy specialist” who can provide talking... More »

Health Care Battle Stymies Obama Campaign Machine

(Newser) - Now that he’s in office, President Obama is having a lot of trouble mobilizing the grassroots network that helped put him there, the Los Angeles Times reports. With Republican health care opponents operating like a well-oiled, talk-show-fueled machine, Organizing for America (aka Obama for America) is stuttering—in part... More »

Grass Roots or Astroturf? Protests Disrupt Town Halls

Dems come home to hecklers swinging at health care legislation

(Newser) - Many Democrats' August recess is off to a noisy start, as conservative dissenters flood town-hall meetings to protest health care legislation, the Boston Globe reports. Using tactics and questions prescribed online, hecklers do their best to disrupt the events, yelling questions and shouting out while videotaping the exchange. Republicans say... More »

Obama to Lefties: Don't Bash Health Care Moderates

President urges advocates to promote his health care agenda instead

(Newser) - President Obama wants his liberal allies to stop heckling moderate Democrats on health care, the Washington Post reports. “We shouldn’t be focusing resources on each other,” Obama said in a phone call with a handful of senior House and Senate lawmakers. Grass-roots groups have been slamming legislators... More »

Opinion on 'Tea Parties' Split Down Party Lines

(Newser) - Evaluations of the effectiveness of yesterday’s anti-tax “tea parties” are split predictably down partisan lines, Chris Cillizza writes for the Washington Post. Republicans touted the protests, which brought out tens of thousands and garnered major media coverage, as a success. “I think something is going on out... More »

The Plouffe Plan That Terrifies Washington

Senior adviser plans to turn Obama's campaign machine into Obama's governing machine

(Newser) - The shy middleman who spearheaded Barack Obama's campaign now plans to morph it into a powerful netroots organization, Lisa Taddeo writes in Esquire. Drawing on his unprecedented 13-million-name contact list, David Plouffe says he will soon unveil Organizing for America, a group aimed at drumming up support for policy initiatives.... More »

Obama Tries to Re-Plant Netroots

(Newser) - Barack Obama is determined to turn the legions of Facebook friends and Twitter subscribers that got him elected into an effective force for his administration, the New York Times  reports. He’s already begun issuing his weekly addresses via YouTube video, rather than radio, and crafted a new group called... More »

Obama's Grassroots Army Ponders Next Move

Broad movement may dissipate if asked to work toward merely party-oriented goals

(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... More »

Web-Saavy Obama Needs No Party

(Newser) - Barack Obama has so revolutionized politics that he may not even need the Democratic party, writes David Carr in the New York Times. Parties are supposed to provide a base of support, a brand, ground troops, money, and relationships—all things Obama already has in abundance. The president-elect ran his... More »

Internet Army Could Power Obama Presidency

President-elect intends to use grassroots to his advantage

(Newser) - Barack Obama hadn’t even given his victory speech when the message went out to supporters: “We have a lot to do,” the email read. “I’ll be in touch.” Obama won’t disband his digitally organized army of volunteers, McClatchy reports. Joe Trippi, who designed... More »

Victory Would Vindicate Dean

Win would vindicate screaming DNC chair

(Newser) - If Democrats clean up tonight as expected, it’ll be a vindicating victory for Howard Dean. The DNC’s infamous screamer locked horns with many in his party over his “50-state strategy,” but this election his seemingly quixotic venture has borne fruit, the Hill reports. Barack Obama is... More »

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