Obama’s grassroots operation will live on

November 20, 2012

President Obama will not dismantle the social media infrastructure his campaign built to engage supporters during the 2012 election, campaign manager Jim Messina said Tuesday morning.

"People just spent five years winning two presidential elections together, now they're not just walking away," Messina said at a Politico Playbook breakfast.  We have to figure out what we do next and that's the conversation we're having with our supporters now."

Nor will the organization be handed over to future Democratic campaigns. "This organization was built for people who supported this president," Messina said.

He suggested Dashboard, the campaign's social media apparatus, could be used to pressure lawmakers on a fiscal cliff deal.

The campaign e-mailed supporters on Sunday, asking them to check off the issues they would be interested in volunteering for or organizing around in the future. 

Obama's 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, made a similar query after that election. But in January 2009, the whole grassroots operation was moved into the Democratic National Committee. Other than one big health-care push and some standard appeals to lobby or donate, Organizing for America did little.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · November 20, 2012