Obama Asks Supporters to 'Discuss' the Stimulus, Not to Fight for It
Last week, I asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs if President Obama would be mobilizing his millions of supporters to pressure Congress to pass the stimulus legislation. Gibbs did not give a direct answer. And it has seemed that Obama and his aides have not been eager to use their list of 13 million supporters to flex their political muscle.
This past weekend, Organizing for America, the Obama campaign's spin-off, held house meetings across the country regarding the stimulus package, and it sent a video of Obama to these sessions and to everyone on its mega-mailing list.
Here's the full video:
The presentation began with Obama saying, "Hi everybody." He then thanked the viewers for all the "hard work" they did during the campaign and for "staying involved in the task of remaking this nation." Referring to recent job loss numbers, he noted that "sometimes Washington is slow to get the news." He touted the stimulus bill moving through Congress and said, "If we fail to pass it promptly, our economy will fall one trillion dollars short of what it is capable of producing this year." He maintained that the stimulus measure would lead to the upgrading of schools and laboratories, the modernization of the health care system, the development of a "smart" electricity grid, and the rebuilding of roads and levees. He sold the bill well, noting that there will be plenty of transparency and accountability provisions in the legislation: "This is your democracy. And as I said throughout the campaign, change never begins from the top down. It begins from the bottom up. It begins with each and every one of you." But what did Obama want each and every one his video-viewers to do to bring about this change?
Not much, really. He said: