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Obama Transition Names New Media Staff

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 12 2008

TalkingPointsMemo has the scoop on the Obama transition's internet outreach team. Greg Sargent writes:

A transition source tells us that that Macon Phillips, a key Obama campaign Web official, has been tapped to head new media for the transition, and Jesse Lee, a leading Web operative who handled Rahm Emanuel's DCCC internet outreach operation during the 2006 take-back of Congress, has been hired to do online communications. Obama's transition team confirms the hires.

Phillips helped run Obama's general election new media shop, which raised huge sums of money and used social networking tools to organize in all sorts of innovative ways.

Lee, meanwhile, is highly regarded by liberal bloggers. He wrote the first-ever blog for the House Speaker, and in the closing days of the campaign he did online rapid response for the DNC, helping the Obama camp frame its message outreach to the blogosphere.

Sargent adds the team will "also include Dan Siroker and Andrew Bleeker as as Deputy Directors of New Media, Cammie Croft on Online Communications, and Kate Albright-Hanna on Content Lead."

It looks like a strong team. Albright-Hanna is responsible for some of the Obama campaign's most compelling video efforts, including this video of Bronx high school students talking about how they were inspired to care about politics by the campaign. Phillips was Joe Rospars' #2 as deputy director of new media on the campaign. Lee, who will be handling blog outreach, has deep connections to the Democratic netroots. Croft is well-known from her work with the Americans Against Escalation in Iraq group, and did online rapid response for Obama. Bleeker worked on the Clinton campaign before joining Obama, but he also attended PdF2008, so he can't be all bad (that's a joke). So did Phillips, for that matter.

The Obama operation is still buttoned up on what is coming next, but as best as I can tell, the core of the new media team is still in Chicago and they are undoubtedly busy figuring out what they will do with the network they've built. NPR's Morning Edition had an interesting interview this morning with Jon Carson, Obama's national field director, who said, ""We've run sort of a giant experiment here in volunteer management, and we want to take a look at the lessons learned from that." He added, "As President-elect Obama takes office and a legislative agenda is put together, I think in the same way these incredible volunteers that we had carried his message throughout the campaign, talking to their neighbors about why he was the right candidate to bring the change that we needed — I can see them, in a similar way, explaining a health care proposal, explaining whatever issue it is."

We shall see...