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While the nation's capital obsesses over who will be the next pick for Barack Obama's Cabinet, the president-elect's lieutenants are engaged with what may be a more important long-term issue: What will become of Obama's vast grass-roots network?

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In 1976, a young political consultant named Patrick Caddell sent a memo to Jimmy Carter telling the president-elect to wage "a continuing political campaign" that fuses public policy and political goals. This doctrine became known as the permanent campaign, and it is now changing from a White House tactic into a national grass-roots organizing strategy.

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