A powerful new lobbying force is coming to town: Barack Obama's triumphant army of 3.1 million Internet-linked donors and volunteers.Obama is making all these folks part of the act. Talk radio? Nope... nothing organized like that at all. Yes, talk radio has the audience, but not the direct involvement.
In a mass e-mail thanking them, written moments before his Grant Park victory speech, Obama put them on notice. "We have a lot to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next," he wrote.
Many are eager. "I'm going to be sitting at the phone, asking, ‘What do you want me to do next? I'm ready,'" said volunteer Courtney Hood, 37, a mother of three from Owings, Md.
How Obama will use his ardent laptop-armed cadres is unclear. So is the extent to which they'll rally behind his priorities, press him for their own or both.
Joe Trippi, the Internet politics guru whose computer geeks made Howard Dean a contender in 2004 and who went on to design Obama's socially networked campaign machine, offers a provocative and educated guess.
Trippi predicted that Obama would use his forces, first and foremost, to intimidate congressional foes of his agenda, rally his allies and forge "one of the most powerful presidencies in American history."
Certainly, Obama reaches the White House with the biggest, best organized, fastest-acting grass-roots army in the history of presidential campaigning.
Moreover, because his Internet operation was miles ahead of Republican John McCain's, Obama's liberal-to-libertarian electronic activists are in a position to dominate the new political medium much as conservative Republicans dominate talk radio.
Can you blog at Rush's web site? Nope.
Can you connect with others through Rush's web site? Nope.
In talk radio, it's all about the host.
We need to change tactics real fast.