White House aides and allies are turning parts of President Obama’s reelection machinery into an outside-the-Beltway campaign to pressure Republican lawmakers to accept higher taxes on wealthier Americans, according to people familiar with the planning.
As of Thursday, at least 100 Obama campaign staff members had been recruited into the effort, hired by various state-level liberal activist groups after being connected by the Washington-based Common Purpose Project, an outside organization closely aligned with the White House.
“These are a bunch of really talented staffers who as of last week were unemployed,” said a person familiar with the planning.
The effort comes as Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) have signaled a willingness to compromise ahead of a new round of negotiations over taxes and spending that will start at the White House on Friday.
It also offers the first sign that Democrats see another chance to try to turn the president’s vaunted political apparatus into a more permanent grass-roots movement. A similar attempt after Obama’s 2008 victory produced mixed results.