June 12, 2008
Categories: Barack Obama
Obama moves DNC operations to Chicago
In a major shakeup at the Democratic National Committee -- and a departure from tradition -- large parts of the committee's operations are relocating to Chicago to be fully integrated with the Obama campaign.
The DNC's political department, housed in Washington, D.C., will be dramatically rebuilt, with staffers offered a choice of moving to Chicago, joining state operations, or staying in Washington, DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney said.
But the power will clearly be shifting to a centralized Chicago hub.
The DNC's key role in coordinating political operations with state parties is expected to largely be taken over and overseen by Obama's senior staff in Chicago, state party officials said.
"This is part of the implementation of the plans Paul [Tewes] discussed last week with the state party chairs," Finney said. "As part of the efforts to fully integrate DNC operations with the Obama campaign here in Washington, in Chicago and in the states, political, field and constituency operations are moving to Chicago to work in the Obama headquarters. The goal is to consolidate these efforts into one operation and effectively drive one national strategy."
People familiar with the plan said that state party staffers paid for under Howard Dean's 50 State Program would be shifted to working for the presidential campaign, at least in targeted battleground states.
The move reflects Obama's desire to maintain an unusually streamlined campaign, as well as his swift and complete takeover of a Democratic Party that isn't always known for its unity. The move may also save the campaign money, as the Obama campaign can use DNC salaries and staff to pay for elements of its organizing campaign and avoid some of the duplication that has often dogged presidential efforts.