The Cycle | February 11, 2013
>> i like it. i wouldn't mind seeing a tougher president at the state of the union tomorrow night but who's it for? us or for congress ? guest spot is a white house insider who knows what goes in to framing a white house speech in to action. with us now is obama for america michael blake . michael , thank you so much for joining us.
>> great being with you.
>> yeah. michael , we were all sort of talking about this before the show. the state of the union , is it your feeling that it's more a conversation between the president and the american people or the president and congress ? steve was reminding us all that it started out for a way for president to talk to congress and since 1966 , i believe, we have had an opposition response from congress so that seems to be maybe the historical interpretation but there's also reason to believe the president is speaking to the public since we have had the invent of the televisio television. what is your take?
>> it is the conversation with the people. we don't want any fights tomorrow. we don't need opposition all the time right now. this is a conversation with the people. that's the reason why the president after the state of the union is going to be going to asheville, north carolina . going to atlanta. going to chicago. to speak about gun rights and for us to understand what we did four years ago and showing us that the election is one part of that. state of the union 's next part of that. but now we have to continue the conversation, immigration reform , gun rights part of a collective conversation that happens in a speech tomorrow night but now we have to make sure that the action gets done. when we talk through the campaign, we said in 2008 we changed the guard. in 2012 , we guard the change. here's how we guard the change. having the people get motivated and we had 10,000 neighborhood teams mobilizing, persuading, turning people out and why tomorrow we're excited about what the president will do. the next step of this. at the inauguration laying a vision. talking about the economy. talking about middle class . talking about immigration and now for all of us to come together and be excited about what the president is talking tomorrow night.
>> i'm glad to hear he's speaking to the people because in the gun control conversation he needs to rally the people to maybe be able to get something done. how do you think he addresses gun control in the speech?
>> first, you know, let's be cognizant that any time a life is lost something has to happen. we have can't continue and that's why the first lady went out the the funeral last weekend and the president talking tomorrow night it is about setting the tone already and shown that leadership. 23 executive actions. saying we can't wait any longer and congress we need for you to help us move forward and make the schools safe and military style assault weapons off the streets. make sure there's background checks and all of this is part of a collective process of the president setting that tone again tomorrow night, setting it again on friday in chicago and we need all of us to realize it's an all-inclusive conversation. we need congress to be a part of this, parents, teachers, all those that care about the communities to be engaged and when that happens seeing serious action on guns.
>> michael , speaking of that engagement after 2008 , obama for america turned in to organizing for america and now turned in to organizing for action. i mean, i would say the general verdict on how organizing for america did in terms of organizing maybe you disagree with this, it was somewhat lackluster. what's organizing for action actually going to do?
>> well, we were just trying to find another way to use ofa. organizing for action is saying what we have done over last six years, the election is part of that. the civil rights movement , took nine years for the act to get done and you have to organize and people knocking on doors and making phone calls and house parties tomorrow night, call campaigns happening, this is about saying to the american people , for those out there, 2 million volunteers out there to be engaged and stay engaged, 36 million on facebook following the president, we have more work to do. now, when you think about what we did on the campaign, a lot of it through the neighborhood teams. a neighborhood team leader , a core tell members and interesting to see s.e. toure, i want to say when's the neighborhood team leader on set?
>> not me.
>> the neighborhood team leader ? that's awesome!
>> again, toure, we don't want drama on the set but for everyone to come together and organize.
>> let's get her to come together with her. this sounds awesome.
>> but now the next step is, you know, how to organize? through the state of the union tomorrow night, the president will say we need you. what leadership is happening from the entire team, we need you to continue to mobile ides and say to everyone, the work is not done until we get the actions executed in congress . we need congress to stand with us in getting that done.
>> so ofa is switching off being a campaign organization and a post-campaign organization. i wonder if it or the people a part of it are going to go back to campaign mode sort of together in 2016 . this is the second term of the presidency. if obama is like bill clinton or like ronald reagan , you know, that idea of getting that sort of unofficial third term, the vindication and mattered to bill clinton . didn't get wit al gore . ronald reagan did with george bush sr . will that enter in the picture next two, three years?
>> absolutely. people didn't just vote for the president and because of their skin color , because they're a woman or young person . but they believed in the policies and the vision of the president and re-electing him this is part of a continual campaign. there's an infrastructure ready to bring people in talking about grants, immigration, energy. we have the move forward with that. that's part of an effort of saying we want to organize but we have to organize for action. none of this matters unless we get bills done and see changes happen in our dmunt and we saw that four years ago. everyone understood when you elected the president, we were going to get health care and end the iraq war . we achieved that. the president is clear. we have to create jobs. 6 million last 35 months in the private sector. cradle to career. we need people to mobilize and organize with us. all these pieces are a part of that continual movement and make sure to see that success going forward for four years.
>> certainly one of the hopes is that people continue to see themselves less as spectators and michael blake thank you.
>> thank you, everyone.
>>> president no doubt on fire tomorrow night. and then he takes the message straight to the cities where our next guest says it matters the most. he explains next. it's