"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Failure of Obama's "Grass-roots" is Confirmed-- and then Some

Check out this article in the Washington Post by Dan Eggen via Pundit & Pundette.

Eggen writes, "But in its first big test, the group dubbed Organizing for America (OFA) had little obvious impact on the debate over President Obama's budget, which passed Congress on Thursday with no Republican support and a splintering of votes among conservative Democrats. The capstone of the campaign was the delivery of 214,000 signatures to Capitol Hill, which swayed few, if any, members of Congress, according to legislative aides from both parties.

"The episode underscores the difficulty that Obama and his supporters face in attempting to transfer the excitement of a historic presidential campaign to the mundane and complex process of pushing legislation through Congress. It also comes as something of a relief to beleaguered Republicans, who cast the relatively humble pledge campaign as a sign of broader disaffection with Obama's economic priorities."

But by favorite part is here, "The grass-roots effort on behalf of Obama's $3.5 trillion budget began in early March and was described by Plouffe as the group's "first major engagement" in the legislative process. OFA organized a door-to-door canvass effort on March 21 that netted about 100,000 pledge signatures; another 114,000 signatures came in through the group's e-mail network, the group said.

"OFA trumpeted the effort as resulting in more than 640,000 pledges[huh... pledges? I promise to follow and support my Obama's spending?]. But that number comes from triple-counting -- the group made three copies of pledges, one each for the signer's House member and two senators."

The only number I've heard from the media is the 640,000. This is the first source I've seen that admitted that 640,000 came from a triple counting of 214,000 signatures-- 114,000 of which were merely e-mails from Obama's campaign supporters.

In a previous post I'd passed on that presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs had said that the OFA had knocked on a million doors over a weekend. Well assuming that this is accurate (I mean Gibbs would never fib about anything like that...) and that these 100,000 signatures all came from that single push (unlikely in the extreme), the numbers show that less than 10% of those asked bothered to sign the OFA's petitions (100,000 out of a million). In other words, 90% of those did not sign a petition supporting Obama's budget. Not the best numbers, are they?

Huh... Maybe Congress should take notice of the OFA's campaigning.

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