First lady Michelle Obama touted her husband’s revived campaign machine as a progressive force in politics, marking another step in his effort to expand his post-election power in Washington.
“As Barack has said, winning an election won’t bring about the change we seek — it is simply the chance to make that change … so I hope that you join Organizing for Action to seize that chance,” Michelle Obama says in a short video released Friday.
Obama’s new video focused on the 2012 campaign’s successful effort to recruit many volunteers who registered voters and boosted Election Day turnout.
The increased turnout of African-Americans and Latinos — despite the stalled economy — overcame Gov. Mitt Romney’s success in winning solid majorities of independents, white voters and married women.
The experience, technology and personal ties created in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns can “change our country,” Michelle Obama said in the video.
“And that’s the mission of Organizing For Action — to build on the work we’ve already done by training and empowering the next generation of leaders and supporting the grass roots organizing you want to do,” she said.
The new group was announced Jan. 18 as GOP leaders and legislators said they would provide a short-term debt-ceiling extension until April to allow the Democratic-controlled Senate to write its first budget since 2009. The concession is also intended to show the public how the GOP is offering to work with Democrats to curb overspending without risking economic damage to an already stalled economy.
President Barack Obama’s White House responded with harsh rhetoric.
“We are encouraged that there are signs that Congressional Republicans may back off their insistence on holding our economy hostage to extract drastic cuts in Medicare, education and programs middle class families depend on,” said a White House statement, which did not suggest that Senate Democrats match the concession by passing a budget, as required by law.