That means gatherings like today’s in Centreville — although the slow start here is probably not what OFA organizers had in mind. After a scheduling snafu over the start time, a few people showed up and left before it actually started. Just one volunteer stayed to help work the phone bank for the health law, and the event’s organizer bolted after 20 minutes — although he was bound for another Obamacare event, a house party.

The poor turnout here in Centreville wasn’t necessarily indicative of what’s happening across the country at other OFA events Sunday afternoon and evening, which coincide with President Barack Obama’s birthday. OFA sent out pictures of bigger and more enthusiastic turnout elsewhere, including some events in places like Ohio, Florida and Missouri where volunteer enthusiasm will be needed to overcome state government resistance to implementation. Most of the events were intentionally small-scale — house parties, leafleting near a beach or a farmer’s market, not big rallies.

But in some ways, this suburban community 20 miles from Washington, D.C., captures the national ambivalence about the health law.