Last updated: November 14, 2008 - 9:33am
It is the biggest and broadest American political force ever created -- a vast, electronically linked network of activists, neighborhood organizers and volunteers who raised record amounts of money and propelled Barack Obama to the White House. Now, as Obama turns from campaigning to governing, his advisors are struggling to harness this potent web of supporters to help him move his agenda over the next four years. But it is no simple task to convert an insurgency into a standing army. That challenge has sparked rare discord among Obama advisors who ran a highly disciplined operation with no public disagreements throughout the long campaign. The Obama machinery relied heavily on idealistic political outsiders committed to breaking free from old ways of doing politics. The worry is that these enthusiastic activists might drift away if they are turned over to the Democratic National Committee, where the party might ask them to support Democrats and target Republicans. Instead, Obama advisors involved in building the force think it should remain an independent entity -- organized around the "Obama brand."
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