Organizing for America, Obama's Political Arm, Facing Withering Criticism

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Barack Obama came to town a year ago to change the way politics worked, and Organizing for America was to be his instrument. The successor to his campaign organization, with the largest e-mail list in America, was poised - many observers thought at the time - to bring the campaign's movement fervor and web-centric tactics to pushing Obama's legislative agenda through Congress.
With little public profile and a difficulty in pointing to concrete accomplishments, OfA, as it's known, has faced criticism on many fronts: Progressives blast OfA as a soulless, top-down machine that's alienating the base, even as some state party officials complain that the group is stepping on their toes. Conservative Democrats, too, grumbled over the summer when OfA ran mild, campaign-style ads in their districts backing health care reform, a violation of political etiquette the group hasn't repeated after complaints from congressional leadership.

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