Okay, so sending his troops to quash local skirmishes like the Georgia Senate runoff is good for now, but what happens to the massive force of Obamaniacs in America who are at loose ends after that? Well, the president-elect is earning the goodwill of at least the ones who were officially on his payroll: He’s giving an extra month’s salary to foot soldiers who found themselves without a job on November 5. They’ll also have the option of keeping campaign-issued laptops and BlackBerrys, if they pay income taxes on them.
But what about the rest of them? The volunteers, bloggers, small-time donors, and everyone else who really made his victory happen? Well, the Los Angeles Times says keeping them happy won’t be so easy. It’s an issue that is splitting Obama’s usually same-minded advisers: Should the administration try to fold their (largely independent-minded) flock into the Democratic machine? Or should they take advantage of Obama’s unique coalition and use it as a force to grapple with both Democrats and Republicans? Adviser and grassroots architect David Hildebrand has been warning that the former tack has major drawbacks. But campaign manager David Plouffe has been using the Obama e-mail list to fund-raise for the Democratic National Committee, indicating that he supports that tactic. The LAT concludes that no hard decisions on this will probably be made until January, when a new DNC chair replaces Howard Dean.