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That was the moment when Movement 2.0 began to stall.

The proposal had started with the campaign’s technology team and true believers, but now it had landed in front of two consummate Washington insiders. Hildebrand came to like the idea; creating a movement free from the DNC, he believed, would put more pressure on Congress to implement Obama’s agenda. But where others had seen great possibility, Tewes saw potential disaster. Four days later, he wrote to Rouse and his colleague Hildebrand :

As both of you know, I have many concerns about this..... as a lover of “Party” I really don’t like this.

I think the decision needs to be made and discussed on “this vs. party” or “this and party.” The discussion should focus on—What is best for Barack Obama, his politics, his agenda and his future.

If the first step is to move outside the party with your organization, the political ramifications and “future” ramifications need to be thought through. Further, a discussion should be had of party over this—why and why not?

Marching into this seems premature and secondly creating something before hand (before e-day) has appearance problems in my opinion.

I would ask that we postpone any of this till after the convention and do a little gathering where we can discuss. Please.

Rouse forwarded Tewes’s response back to Podesta. Podesta, in turn, sent it along to Edley sale affordable with paypal for sale Nike Womens Wmns Free TR 7 Shield LIGHT BONE/LIGHT BONEDUST Light Bone/Light Bonedust cheap enjoy buy cheap discounts zQBwki
: “Let’s discuss Monday. Obviously some heartburn with the political crowd.”

Steve Hildebrand

Deputy campaign chief and top D.C. consultant; argued that keeping M2.0 out of the DNC would put more heat on Congress.

Paul Tewes

Political consultant who ran the DNC for Obama. His reaction to the idea was swift and decisive: “I really don’t like this.”

David Plouffe

Told by Obama to “keep our supporters involved,” the campaign manager bottled up the movement inside the DNC.

JAMES NORD/AP IMAGES; COURTESY OF CQ ROLL CALL/THE ECONOMIST; MICHAEL KOVAC/WIREIMAGE/GETTY

There was plenty in Movement 2.0 to inspire heartburn in that crowd. In Silicon Valley terms, Obama 2008 had “disrupted” presidential campaigns, demonstrating how an underdog candidate could defeat a more experienced opponent by changing the terms of the game and empowering millions of people in the process. Now, it seemed, the Obamaites and their tech wizards wanted to disrupt the Democratic Party, diverting money and control from the DNC into an untried platform, while inviting “input,” and possibly even organized dissent, from Obama’s base. Earlier that summer, activists unhappy with Obama’s flip-flop on warrantless surveillance had used MyBO to build a group of more than 20,000 vocal supporters, earning national press and compelling a response from the candidate . What if Obama’s base didn’t like the health care reform he came up with, and rallied independently around a single-payer plan? Besides, grassroots movements, no matter how successful, don’t reliably yield what political consultants want most: money and victories for their candidates, with plenty of spoils for themselves. For insiders like Tewes, Movement 2.0 was a step too far.

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He built a grassroots machine of two million supporters eager to fight for change. Then he let it die. This is the untold story of Obama’s biggest mistake—and how it paved the way for Trump.

By Micah L. Sifry
MATT MALLAMS/AURORA

On July 20, 2008, Mitch Kapor, the creator of Lotus 1-2-3 and a longtime denizen of Silicon Valley’s intellectual elite, dialed in to a conference call hosted by Christopher Edley Jr., a senior policy adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Joining them on the line were some of the world’s top experts in crowdsourcing and online engagement, including Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn, and Mitchell Baker, the chairman of Mozilla. Drawing on Kapor’s influence, Edley had invited them to join a “Movement 2.0 Brainstorming Group.” Together, they would ponder a crucial question: how to “sustain the movement” should Obama, who was still a month away from accepting the Democratic nomination, go on to win the White House.

Edley had been a personal friend of Obama’s since his days teaching him at Harvard Law School. Their kinship had been underscored the previous summer, when Obama had invited Edley to the Chicago apartment of Valerie Jarrett, the candidate’s closest confidant, to deliver a stern lecture to the seasoned political operatives who were running his underdog bid for the presidency. The campaign team had Obama on a relentless pace of town halls and donor calls, and Hillary Clinton had been besting him in the early primary debates. Both Barack and Michelle Obama were unhappy. According to John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s adidas Mens XPLR Fashion Sneaker Core Black Core Black Gum 100% original clearance nicekicks cheap prices reliable buy cheap find great MzIE6
Edley urged Obama’s campaign managers to schedule fewer rallies and fund-raisers, and allow the candidate more time to think and develop innovative policy ideas.

The intervention, delivered with a full-blown harangue telling the troika managing the campaign—David Axelrod, David Plouffe, and Robert Gibbs—to “get over yourselves,” was deeply resented by the political professionals; NIKE Womens Air Zoom Structure 19 Running Shoes Blk/Volt/Blue Lagoon sale cheap online buy cheap looking for xUPH41x8Gt
, Axelrod would later call Edley “systematically antagonizing.” But Jarrett and Michelle Obama, who was also in the meeting, hung on Edley’s every word. “He’s channeling Barack,” Jarrett thought, according to Jarrett told Axelrod she thought Edley’s fiery presentation had been “brilliant.”

Now, a year later, Edley had been moved over to Obama’s still-secret transition team, helping to map out policy and personnel on education, immigration, and health care. It was a better fit for Edley, a dapper and soft-spoken law professor with a salt-and-pepper beard, who had served in senior policy-making roles under Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. “Although I have worked in five presidential campaigns,” he told me recently, “I hate them because there is never enough emphasis on policy.” But Edley found himself newly motivated by a single big political idea, born in part from his past experience trying to win policy fights. What if Barack Obama could become not only the first black man elected president, but the first president in history to organize an enduring grassroots movement that could last beyond his years in office?

By that point in the race, there was every reason to think that Obama could build a lasting grassroots operation. His political machine had already amassed more than 800,000 registered users on My.BarackObama, its innovative social networking platform. “MyBO,” as it was known, gave supporters the ability—unthinkable in a traditional, top-down political campaign—to organize their own local groups, campaign events, and fund-raising efforts. Its potential for large-scale organizing after the election was vast—and completely without precedent in American politics. By Election Day, Obama’s campaign Penny Loves Kenny Womens Mojo Slide Pump Black Multi free shipping outlet free shipping popular discount finishline sale shop for ZXty0h1C
, three million donors, and two million active members of MyBO, including 70,000 people with their own fund-raising pages. This wasn’t just some passive list of campaign supporters, Edley realized—it was an army of foot soldiers, seasoned at rallying support for Obama’s vision of change.

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