BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 7 2010
Organizing for America, the field wing of the Democratic National Committee, seems to be strategically reviving an organizing strategy that helped to power the Obama campaign's robust volunteer operation itself: make a conscious effort to show those working on your behalf the tangible value of the work that they do.
A new three minute video from OFA shows two people who worked on health care reform at the grassroots level delivering boxes containing the names of 1.1 million citizen "co-signers" to the health care reform bill to Barack Obama, accompanied by campaign mastermind David Plouffe. Karima is an OFA neighborhood team leader from Virginia, and Becca is a high-school student and OFA volunteer who says when the President arrives upon the scene, "The second he walks in the room...I don't know...you feel it." The names were collected through Organizing for America's online "Co-sign the President's Historic Health Reform" drive. Some critics have questioned whether the push wasn't just a way for OFA to replenish its email list. But no matter the motives, at least one outcome is reinforcing the sentiment amongst Obama's supporters that they're engaged in the struggle alongside him.
OFA's demonstrating an organizing tactic that goes back to the sixties, if not earlier -- complete the circle. Pull volunteers and allies not only into tactics, but have them enjoy the fruits of those tactics. Obama himself completes the circle for Becca and Karima when he tells them, "I could not be prouder of what you guys did." And later, "you made history."