David Plouffe

Superstitions say Romney will win the election. The Obama campaign responds with some superstitions of its own.

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So, according to the new CW, Team Obama is no longer portraying Mitt Romney as a convictionless panderer but as a Goldwater-esque extremist instead. As I noted in my own take on this question, that’s clearly the way to go here—Bill Clinton’s success with the strategy in 1996 speaks for itself. But I’d submit an added selling point that the coverage has so far ignored. The first-order benefit of the 1996 strategy is obvious: The right-wing views Romney has adopted will turn off women, independents, and Latinos, all of them key voting blocs.

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I’m hardly the first to seize on the new Washington Post poll showing Obama’s continued struggles with independents. Heck, I’m not even the  first writer at this magazine to weigh in. But there’s a wrinkle of the story that’s received less attention, and so I think it’s worth piling on a bit more.  According to the Post’s write-up, and to many of the commentators who’ve kibitzed about it, Obama’s sudden retreat among independents—57 percent now disapprove of his handling of the economy—is mostly a function of rising gas prices.

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Obama’s Worst Year

Shortly after four o’clock on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 13, 2011, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner walked down the hallway near his office toward a large conference room facing the building’s interior. He was accompanied by a retinue of counselors and aides. When they arrived in the room—known around Treasury simply as “the large”—four people were seated at a long walnut table on the side near the door.

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After David Plouffe declared yesterday on Meet the Press that Mitt Romney "has no core," Republicans flew into a state of high dudgeon. GOP consultant Mike Murphy, for one, called it a "step too far" and demanded a White House apology for the remark. But if this is a step too far, then it's one that's been taken long before now. The Obama reelection team and the DNC have clearly decided that simply branding Romney a flip-flopper is not sufficient -- that to really capture his lack of conviction, one needs to take inspiration from L.

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The debate within the Democratic Party over President Obama's incipient economic relief program is being conducted between two sides that totally misunderstand its purpose. On the one side, you have administration centrists who support a sufficiently narrow plan that can pass Congress: Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact.

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A week ago, the New York Times reported that the Obama administration was divided over its strategy between advisers who wanted to emphasize accomplishments and those who wanted to emphasize pragmatic accomplishments and those who wanted to confront Congressional Republicans: Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact.

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The Truman Show

It looks like President Obama really has found his inner Harry Truman, at least for the moment. On Thursday, Obama travelled to Holland, Michigan, to speak at a factory that manufactures batteries for electric cars. And, at least by Obama’s standards, the rhetoric was unusually combative, as he attacked Congress repeatedly for blocking his economic agenda: "There are some in Congress right now who would rather see their opponents lose than see America win," Obama said.  The substantive focus was different, too.

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[Guest post by Kara Brandeisky] In The New York Times, Binyamin Appelbaum and Helene Cooper report that the Obama camp is split on how to move forward on economic issues: Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact. These include free trade agreements and improved patent protections for inventors. But others, including Gene Sperling, Mr.

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&c

-- A liberal defense of the chain CPI. -- The world map of useless stereotypes.  -- Warren Buffett says he could end the deficit "in five minutes." Imagine what he could do in ten! -- Ethanol lobby gets smacked around, doesn't seem to mind. -- What David Plouffe actually said about unemployment. -- Archie Comics co-CEO yells "PENIS PENIS PENIS" at her male employees, gets sued. -- The GOP stumbles around a tax reform program.

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