Funding the Permanent Campaign
I recently posted an item on the idea of the permanent campaign, so I was interested to read that Barack Obama used the occasion of his national security team rollout yesterday to send out another fundraising email to his supporters. He apparently sent out a similar request following the introduction of his economic team last week. Any private money raised through these solicitations would be used to supplement the $6.3 million in federal dollars Obama automatically receives to fund his presidential transition.
Obama is not the first president to raise money for his presidential transition. But given his stunning fundraising success during the campaign, and the huge donor email list amassed along with it, we will probably see Obama tap into his grassroots network of supporters like no previous president in history. Whether to raise money for the presidential transition (and eventually reelection), or to mobilize public support around particular policy positions, the Obama Administration is likely to take the permanent campaign to a whole new level. And, Republicans looking toward 2010 and 2012 may find themselves with some serious organizational ground to make up.

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