With little public profile and a difficulty in pointing to concrete accomplishments, OfA, as it’s known, has faced criticism on many fronts: Progressives blast OfA as a soulless, top-down machine that’s alienating the base, even as some state party officials complain that the group is stepping on their toes. Conservative Democrats, too, grumbled over the summer when OfA ran mild, campaign-style ads in their districts backing health care reform, a violation of political etiquette the group hasn’t repeated after complaints from congressional leadership.

Perhaps most troubling for the party, former Obama aides and other Democrats say, OfA simply hasn’t been as effective as they hoped. And as 2010 shapes up to be a difficult year for Democrats, the quiet hand-wringing among party officials over the organization’s capacities has been matched by a new public hand-wringing among Democratic activists, with both struggling to diagnose the ills of the group that was meant to change the game…

Top officials would only speak to POLITICO on the condition that the press office approve quotes before they could be used on the record…

In interviews with POLITICO, numerous state party chairpersons — some of whom requested anonymity to speak candidly — expressed frustration with on-the-ground OFA organizers, some of whom, these party chairpersons said, were barely on speaking terms with state parties and who in some cases expressed outright hostility to the existing state party structure.