Remember that question about how Obama would use his online support after the elections? Here’s one answer: I just received an email from the president via the DNC list promoting house parties this weekend to help build national support for the economic stimulus bill. Plus, the email solicits public questions that will be answered by new DNC chair Tim Kaine via video at the parties. Social media + supporter evangelism = significant parts of the Obama election strategy carried through into the advocacy space.
This particular message doesn’t ask people to start contacting their congressmembers or otherwise aggressively influence policy, but that seems like a logical next step. For now, the emphasis is on supporters’ learning details about the stimulus bill and then acting within their own social connections to spread the word. It’ll be fascinating to see how this strategy develops — how often will Obama’s online army be unleashed? On which issues? Will their influence persist or drop off over time? Another observation — the Obama/Dean strategy of building support outside of traditional Democratic areas could really pay off in this sphere, because even Republican congressmembers will have pockets of organized stimulus-bill supporters in their districts. Will they be able to sway votes?