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"Whoa! It's Not Over Yet!": Getting Ready for "The Organizing of the President" Chicago, 7pm Tonight at DePaul Univ.

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, November 6 2008

I'm still mulling what I'm going to say tonight at "The Organizing of the President," but here are two hints.

First, let me recycle this long Obama quote from the post I did earlier this year on "Obama's Organization, and the Future of American Politics."

"One of the things that I'm really proud about this campaign," he told an audience in Indianapolis on April 30, "is that we've built a structure that can sustain itself after the campaign." He then talks about how he won so many states, including states like Idaho. It was because of volunteers, he says, "they built the campaign." We didn't originally have big plans for Idaho, he tells his listeners, "but people made this structure."

"Our database, it has a couple of million people on there, who are activated and inspired. And they know each other and they're communicating to each other on the internet with all kinds of different groups. And we want to continue that after the election."

He then describes that as President, he envisions continuing town hall meetings where he listens to the concerns of voters as one piece of that strategy. This isn't that new an idea, of course.

Then he adds, "I want to open up transparency in government, so that you guys know what is happening. I want to revamp our White House website. I know it's nice to take the virtual tour of the China Room," he notes sarcastically, "but I want people to be able to know, 'today, this issue is going's President Obama talked about his proposal for $4000 student college tuition credits, it's going to be going into this congressional committee, these are the key leaders in the House and Senate that are going to be deciding on the bill, here are the groups that are involved that are supporting it, you should contact your Congressman. Just creating the situation that if people want to get involved and it's easy. The information is out there, but trying to track it down isn't...The more we can enlist the American people to pay attention and be involved, that's the only way we are going move an agenda forward. That's how we are going to counteract the special interests."

The second thing I'm mulling is based on the attached editorial that ran in The Nation magazine on December 7, 1992. I scanned the cover from my personal archive (hopefully proving to my wife that the dusty boxes in my basement actually have value), since The Nation's online archive is a) hidden behind a needless pay-wall, and b) their page for this issue of the magazine doesn't include this cover editorial anyway.