Organizing for Action

I have been invited to participate in a grassroots organization to help President Obama get his agenda passed. I feel so privileged.

David —

I’m Jon Carson, the new executive director of Organizing for Action.

I hope you’re as excited as I am for this new organization, and for what our grassroots movement can accomplish in the next four years.

If you haven’t already, you should check out this short video First Lady Michelle Obama recorded about our organization, and then say you’re on board.

Just a little bit about me. I’m a Wisconsin guy, and I grew up on a farm in the western part of the state. In 2007, I joined Barack Obama’s campaign and served as the national field director. After the election, I went to work for the President in the White House, most recently in the Office of Public Engagement.

That brings me to now, when very soon, my family and I will be moving back to Chicago as I start this new role with all of you.

I first joined the President’s campaign because I was inspired by his belief that ordinary people have the power to change our country if we work together to get it done — and that belief will be at the core of this new organization as it unfolds.

And the way we’ll get it done can be summed up in one word: local.

That means each city or region will have its own OFA chapter, and you’ll decide the issues your community cares about most, the work you want to do to make progress on them, and the kind of support you’ll need to get it done.

At a neighborhood and regional level, OFA members will grow their local chapters, bringing in new leaders and helping train a new generation of volunteers and organizers to help fight for the issues at stake.

There’ll be times when we pull together at the national level to get President Obama’s back on passing major legislation, like reducing gun violence or immigration reform. And we’ll all work to help transform Washington from the outside while strengthening our economy and creating jobs.

But for the most part, the direction our work takes will be completely in your hands — with the support of this organization behind you every step of the way.

In the next few weeks and months, I’ll be asking for your input on putting together an OFA plan for 2013, we’ll be holding online briefings about the issues we want to tackle, and we’ll start organizing on those issues as they’re debated in D.C.

But for right now, I just want to say thanks and welcome. There’s a lot to be done, without a doubt — and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of OFA with you.

Take a look at the video the First Lady recorded this week, and go ahead — say you’re in:

I’ll be in touch soon.



Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

If you thought the campaign was over last November, than you are about to be seriously disappointed. The campaign never ends nowadays, and I guess we never get a break from politics anymore. I wonder though, what kind of grassroots organization is run out of the White House? Isn’t this better described as astroturfing?



Signing Barack’s Birthday Card



I got an e-mail from Michelle Obama yesterday.

David —

Barack’s 51st birthday is coming up.

I hope you’ll wish him a happy birthday by signing the card we’re putting together for him.

You’ll be adding David, from Indiana, alongside thousands of other supporters’ names — folks from all 50 states, from all different backgrounds. Together, all those names will be impressive — they’ll show the strength of this campaign and our support for Barack.

And I know he’s going to love it.

Add your name today — and then ask a friend to join you:

These last few months until Election Day won’t be easy — so let’s show Barack we have his back every step of the way.

– Michelle

Well, I couldn’t resist a personal appeal from the First Lady, so I signed, and was immediately hit up for a campaign donation. After I signed, I received another e-mail.


Thanks for signing President Obama’s card. Want to wish him a happy birthday, or good luck in the months ahead, in your own words?

Add a personal note to the card here:

Thanks again,

Obama for America

Well, I certainly do want to wish him a happy birthday, so I wrote that I hope he has a very happy birthday, next year in Chicago, or anywhere except the White House.




Yesterday, I got an e-mail from Jim Messina, the campaign manager for Obama for America.

David —

Remember the claims that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States?

Or that health care reform — a law that brings down costs and improves health care for all Americans — would help “pull the plug on grandma”?

If he had released his birth certificate two years ago, the claims that he wasn’t born in the United States never would have gotten as much attention as they did. I wonder if I told Mr. Messina that I had a bag of magic beans that I would be willing to sell him, if he would believe me. That makes about as much sense as believing that “health care reform” can simultaneously lower costs and improve health care. But, on
to the message.

This campaign isn’t going to wait to find out what’s coming. We’re building a program right now to snuff out these false attacks the moment they start, fight back against distortions of the President’s record, and mobilize our supporters around the truth.

It’s called — and if you have an interest in seeing lies about President Obama countered, you should give it a close look.

Will you visit today and sign up to fight back on the President’s behalf?

Yes, I want to help respond to attacks on the President.

Not right now, but I can donate $5 to fund the 2012 campaign and support this work.

Not right now, but I want to check out

Being a part of is simple. Just visit the site when you see a new attack on the President. If we’ve heard it before, you’ll be able to download all the facts and resources you need to fight back. If we haven’t, you can be the first to let us know about it.

You can also sign up to be on the front lines as attacks develop — we’ll be in touch in the months ahead with new tips for how to spread the truth to your friends and neighbors.

I am so tempted to join attackwatch and see what kind of stories I can make up. Republicans say Obama is a lizard man from Alpha Centauri! They are running ads accusing Michelle Obama of really being a man!

It would be fun but judging from the derision this is attracting, see here, here here, and I’m sure many other places, I imagine that this effort will soon be consigned to the memory hole.

Best of the Web from the Wall Street Journal picked this up too.I wonder if the people who came up this this thought about the probable reactions they would get.

In a related note, President Obama wants to have dinner with me.

David —

Supporters like you are the reason I’m here, and the values we share have always made our organization more than just a political campaign.

So whenever I can, I want to take the opportunity to meet you. Last month, that meant I got to talk to folks in Iowa about small-business opportunities, and sit down with a group of volunteers from around the country who helped build this campaign in their communities this summer.

Today, I want to ask if you’ll join me and three other supporters for a meal and conversation sometime soon.

He’s asking for a donation to his campaign, of course, but you can enter without contributing, so I entered. My chances of winning are about the same as winning a lottery, but it would be fun to meet him, and tell him what I think of the job he’s doing.