* Campaign says can't simply transfer assets to future
* Obama turn-out-the-vote effort helped win battleground
By Jeff Mason and Eric Johnson
WASHINGTON/CHICAGO, Nov 8 U.S. President Barack
Obama's first campaign famously left offices open in swing
states after 2008 to boost his re-election effort in 2012. So
what happens now to all of the infrastructure that helped secure
the Democrat two terms in office?
The answer is unclear. Obama's political advisers, in a
conference call with reporters on Thursday, said they would be
discussing with his supporters how to move forward, but they
suggested that potential Democratic candidates in coming
elections could not assume the Obama ground apparatus would be
automatically at their disposal.
"You just can't transfer this," said David Plouffe, a senior
White House adviser who managed Obama's campaign four years ago.
"People are not going to spend hours away from their
families and their jobs, contributing financially when it's hard
for them to do it unless they believe in the candidate."
Jim Messina, Obama's 2012 campaign manager, said his team
would initiate a process with the volunteers who made up the
multistate infrastructure that turned out voters for Obama.
"We're going to go through a process with our supporters and
have a conversation with them about what they want to do next,
and we've always listened to the ground game, listened to our
supporters," he said.
"We are going to spend some time learning the lessons from
the other night before we start thinking about 2014 or 2016."
The much-heralded ground game is considered one of the keys
to Obama's victory on Tuesday. The president won nearly all of
the battleground states that both he and Republican rival Mitt
Democrats who are considering running for president in 2016
would be delighted to tap into the lists of names, technology,
and know-how that the Obama team amassed, but Plouffe warned
that it was not as simple as taking over such assets.
"For candidates who want to try and build a grassroots
campaign, it's not going to happen because there is a list or
because you have the best technology. That's not how this
works," Plouffe said.
"They have to build up that kind of emotional appeal so that
people are willing to go out there and spend the time and their
resources and provide their talents because they believe in
someone and in what you're offering," he said.
"The only reason that all this happened on the ground -
whether it was '08 or this time...was because they believed in
Barack Obama," he said.