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Obama on the rope line after his speech in Columbia, Missouri on October 30, 2008 (immediately below the outstretched arm holding a digital camera in the center of the image).

Retooling Obama’s campaign machine for the long haul

…As Barack Obama builds his administration and prepares to take office next week, his political team is quietly planning for a nationwide hiring binge that would marshal an army of full-time organizers to press the new president’s agenda and lay the foundation for his reelection.

The organization, known internally as “Barack Obama 2.0,” is being designed to sustain a grass-roots network of millions that was mobilized last year to elect Obama and now is widely considered the country’s most potent political machine…

Usually after Democratic campaigns everyone collapses, the campaign professionals go to work someplace else, and the local volunteers go back to their real lives. The problem in the past has been that the opposition and their media enablers don’t take vacations – they are part of a permanent campaign.

It looks like things are going to be different this time. The visible planning started in early December:

Barack Obama’s grass roots in search of new turf

…Amid Obama’s transition to power, a spirited and often secretive debate has broken out among top campaign staff members over how to refashion the broad network of motivated volunteers into a force that can help Obama govern…

…This weekend, hundreds of field staffers and some key volunteers are planning a marathon closed-door summit at a Chicago hotel to begin negotiating details of what the network might look like when Obama takes office in January. A group of field organizers from battleground states has been enlisted to draw up a plan…

The semi-vast numbers of Obama campaign volunteers here in Missouri could get enlisted to continue exercising their political activism. Field organizers on the ground with purpose driven tasks needing to be accomplished would help a lot. But still, it’ll be like herding cats.

Holding people accountable for “change” at all levels will be a good thing.