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The Americans Elect Threat

Aug. 31, 2010: Obama announces drawdown In an address from the Oval Office, President Obama formally announced the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the start of significant troop drawdown.(PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/AP, POOL)

December 13, 2011

President Obama's re-election team is keeping a wary eye on a group pledging to put an independent ticket on the ballot in next year's elections, top Democratic strategists hinted Tuesday.

In a meeting with reporters, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and top strategist David Axelrod said they expected the group, Americans Elect, to be on the ballot in most states next year. And though the group says it will use the most open, democratic process possible to select a nominee, Obama's campaign is questioning both their means and motives.

Americans Elect will allow any registered voter to cast a ballot in an online national primary. But those candidates must be approved by a Candidate Certification Committee, which will judge each applicant's capability of performing the duties of office. That got the Obama campaign's attention.

"You have to get approved by a council of elders deal," Messina told reporters Tuesday. Added Axelrod: "It's like uber-democracy meets backroom bosses. An amalgam of both."

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