Organizing for America Targets Sarah Palin

In his new book The Audacity to Win, Obama for America campaign manager David Plouffe recalls that Sen. John McCain's selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate was a fundraising boon -- for the Obama campaign. "We had taken in millions of dollars in the three hours since Palin had started speaking," Plouffe recalls. "We hadn't even asked for most of it; we had sent out just a single unplanned fund-raising email highlighting her attacks on community organizers, but it was just starting to hit people's in-boxes as I checked the numbers. So the big response from the last three hours meant people were merely venting via contribution. "Her speech might have ginned up their base, but apparently it had sent ours into orbit ," Plouffe continues. "The image that came into my mind was of people sitting home with a computer on their laps, watching the Palin speech, and getting angrier and angrier, contributing again and then again. 'I hope she keeps this up,' I thought. 'Sarah Palin has now become our best fund-raiser.' Apparently hoping to re-create some of this fundraising magic, the committee now known as Organizing for America sent out a fundraising appeal this morning hoping for its own little piece of Palinpalooza, Part II. "Right now, Sarah Palin is on a highly publicized, nationwide book tour, attacking President Obama and his plan for health reform at every turn," writes OFA director Mitch Stewart in an email first reported by Christina Bellantoni at Talking Points Memo. "It's dangerous. Remember, this is the person who coined the term 'Death Panels' -- and opened the flood gates for months of false attacks by special interests and partisan extremists." Stewart quotes Palin saying she hopes health reform will be "dead on arrival" and appearing on Rush Limbaugh's radio show where she "outrageously -- and falsely -- suggested that Americans could 'face jail time as punishment' if they don't buy insurance." (The truth is, at least in the House bill, Americans could face jail time as a punishment if they don't pay the fine for failing to buy insurance, if they can afford to do so.) "Palin has many more interviews scheduled on Hannity and other conservative shows in the next few weeks, with more platforms to go after the President," says Stewart. "As soon as she does, the rest of our opponents will likely parrot those attacks." Stewart sets the goal for donors to give $500,000 in the next week "to help push back against Sarah Palin and her allies." -jpt

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