“In an unprecedented move, President Barack Obama’s vaunted political organization is being turned into a nonprofit group — funded in part by corporate money — to mobilize support behind the president’s second-term agenda,” AP reports. Democratic officials familiar with the plan said Thursday the tax-exempt organization will be called Organizing for Action and seek to harness the energy of the president’s re-election campaign for future legislative fights. Officials said the group will be separate from the Democratic National Committee and advocate on key policy issues such as gun control and immigration, train future leaders and devote attention to local issues around the nation. The president’s 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina, will serve as the group’s national chairman, and White House official Jon Carson is leaving the administration to become its executive director.”
A new organization opposing Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be defense secretary, entitled “Americans for a Strong Defense,” has been created and will run advertisements and grassroots efforts in Arkansas (represented by Dem Sen. Mark Pryor), North Carolina (Dem Sen. Kay Hagan) and Louisiana (Dem Sen. Mary Landrieu).
Connecticut’s governor is meeting with Vice President Biden tonight on the gun-control proposals. He was supposed to attend events earlier in the week but was unable because of other statewide commitments.
Just bizarre… an FDU poll finds 63% of people believe at least one of four conspiracy theories presented to them. Political Wire: “ ‘56% of Democrats and 75% of Republicans say that at least one is likely true. This includes 36% who think that President Obama is hiding information about his background and early life, 25% who think that the government knew about 9/11 in advance, and 19% who think the 2012 Presidential election was stolen.’ Most interesting finding: ‘Generally, the more people know about current events, the less likely they are to believe in conspiracy theories - but not among Republicans, where more knowledge leads to greater belief in political conspiracies.’”
Cabinet shuffle… “The imminent departure of Energy Secretary Steven Chu highlights the political struggle President Obama has faced in trying to enact even a portion of the sweeping clean-energy and climate change agenda he envisioned when he ran for the White House in 2008,” National Journal writes.
Jill Lawrence: “Forget all the caterwauling about women (a bit of which, admittedly, came from me). The impending departures of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar leave President Obama’s Cabinet with zero Hispanics, setting off nervous tremors among Latinos and underscoring the inch-deep Democratic bench in that demographic.”
The president and Michelle Obama went out to Café Milano in Georgetown for the first lady’s birthday. She’s 49.
The Onion is out with an “autobiography” of Joe Biden, written in Joe Bidenese. From the foreword: "Hombre, you've just done Uncle Joe a real solid buying this book. I ain't the kind of guy who forgets his debts. Next time we meet there's a tallboy of ice cold Beast on me."