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Putting the Obama Machine Back to Work

We wrote about "Obama orphans" not too long ago-the legion of now-unemployed (or underemployed) people who devoted their lives to the Obama campaign, only to discover that there weren't enough jobs in Washington for all of them come election day. The author, Michael Ames, made the point that Obama and his team created perhaps the most effecient and inspiring machine for doing good in the history of the country, and used it for one excellent but ultimately limiting purpose: to elect our current president.He should lament no longer. Today, President Obama announced United We Serve (housed at another of the administration's excellent URLs:, an "extended call to service challenging all Americans to help lay a new foundation for growth in this country by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service." The purpose is to channel the energy and passion-and considerable expertise-of the people who helped elect him (which is to say, most people) into a sustainable culture of participation. Oh, and if all goes according to plan, it could stimulate the economy.[youtube] June 22, when things officially kick off, through September 11 (which you may recall is already a federally recognized National Day of Service), the initiative is asking people to look around in their communities for things they can... wait for it... change, with a focus on four areas: education, health, energy, and the environment. The website will act as a hub for starting projects, funding opportunities, and sharing experiences, with the ultimate goal of getting people to build service into their lives.All in all, sounds like an excellent New Deal x Kennedy mashup.

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