White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that Organizing for America — the Obama 2012 campaign re-branded as a non-profit — supports President Obama’s agenda, not the agenda of the Democratic Party.
“The organization was established specifically to promote President Obama’s policy agenda, so I don’t think there’s any question about the link between the president’s policy proposals . . . and this organization.” Carney said during the press briefing today.
“As the president does with numerous organizations that support his policy agenda or the political agenda of the Democratic Party (which is not the goal of this specific organization) he will meet periodically with OFA,” Carney continued. “They are not, as I understand it — again, based on news reports — engaged in political campaigning, winning elections, or helping candidates win elections. They’re focused on the policy proposals.”
Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, made comments to The Washington Post that undermines the idea that there is a distinction between Obama’s policy proposals and the 2014 political campaign.
“After delivering his election victory speech in November, Obama walked off the Chicago stage and made two phone calls related to his political plans — one to Israel and one to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the last Democratic House speaker,” The Washington Post wrote. “Israel said Obama told him ‘how focused he would be on winning a House majority for the Democrats, many of whom complained that the president did not do enough during his first term to help members on the Hill.”
Will OFA play a role in that push for the majority? “In early January, Israel said, he met in Washington with Jim Messina, Obama’s reelection campaign manager and now head of Organizing for Action, also known as OFA. The subject was the 2014 midterms,” the Post story continues.