Obama defends OFA, vows to play more than ‘inside game’

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Brian Hughes

Many have dismissed Organizing for Action, President Obama’s advocacy group run by former campaign officials, as nothing more than typical Washington influence peddling.

Not surprisingly, Obama took a different view when addressing the group on Wednesday evening.

“The politics of a lot of these issues are tough. And sometimes members [of Congress] are scared about making the right decisions,” Obama told the group. “We are helping to build or sustain a network of citizens who have a voice in the critical debates that will be taking place.”

Reflecting on mistakes from his first term, Obama said, “We were only playing an inside game.”

This time around Obama is hoping to harness OFA’s network of donors and supporters to pressure lawmakers on a budget deal, gun control, immigration reform and climate-change legislation.

“I just want to govern — at least for a couple of years,” Obama told his supporters at the St. Regis Hotel, just a few blocks from the White House.

But as he highlighted small donors who gave $5 to his presidential campaigns, Obama neglected to mention one fact: Many of those in the audience gave $50,000 to OFA to see the president in person.


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