In another major shakeup signaling the Obama camp is preparing to launch the president's reelection campaign, Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Tim Kaine announced Thursday that executive director Jennifer O'Malley Dillon will leave the party to serve as deputy campaign manager, and White House political director Patrick Gaspard will move in to replace her at the DNC.
Gaspard's role in the Obama machine has been a target of conservative criticism in the past given his associations with activist organizations like disgraced community organization ACORN. Gaspard donated tens of thousands of dollars to ACORN in the past and worked for New York's Working Families Party (WFP), a political entity "fighting for a more just world," formed by a coalition of labor unions, ACORN and other community organizations. He also was an organizer for a New Jersey chapter of the New Party -- a collaborative effort between ACORN and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
Gaspard also previously worked as a top official at the powerful New York SEIU local 1199 and turned down an offer last year for the number two top job in the union's national organization.
In his announcement, Kaine wrote that Gaspard "understands the importance of grassroots politics and team building… Working together, I am confident that we can protect the progress of the past two years, achieve important electoral victories in 2011 and 2012.”