Tim Kaine, Mensch
October 29, 2009
Time has excerpts from David Plouffe's new book. The section about the whirlwind day he and Axelrod spent interviewing the three veep finalists--Biden, Bayh, and Kaine--is the most interesting.
October 29, 2009
Tea partiers, townhall protesters, Texas secessionists--for the past few months, grassroots organizing has seemed to be mostly the domain of the right. And for a period this summer, they (okay, not the Texas secessionists, but the others) appeared to be successfully tugging the national debate in their direction.
May 20, 2009
Salt Lake City, Utah Jon Huntsman Jr. wants to know if I'm in the mood for Mexican food for lunch. "I know a great place we can go downtown," the Utah governor says as we pile into the back seat of his black, tinted Suburban. (He goes there all the time, three of his aides separately assure me.) We drive south from Capitol Hill, passing the enormous Mormon temple in the center of town.
December 03, 2008
The morning after the presidential election, a group of top Obama staffers and consultants gathered for brunch at a restaurant a few blocks from their Chicago headquarters. The mood was understandably emotional, and, before long, chief strategist David Axelrod rose to offer a valedictory. According to one person in the room, Axelrod lavished praise on his operatives for their discretion, for their collegiality, and for their resistance to all manner of Washington-think. But, even as Axelrod spoke, a burst of Washington-style drama was making a mockery of these virtues.
November 19, 2008
In the spring of 2007, long before Sarah Palin became a feminist icon, before Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers reared their unreconstructed heads, before Hillary Clinton ever questioned his readiness to be president, Barack Obama's greatest nemesis was a 29-year-old paralegal named Joe Anthony. Anthony had attracted tens of thousands of fans to a MySpace page he'd set up for Obama—a testament to the legions of new voters the candidate was inspiring. But, back in Chicago, all Anthony's site inspired was indigestion.
The View From Plouffe's Office
August 27, 2008
I had a chance to catch a discussion this afternoon with Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and communications director Dan Pfeiffer, hosted by the generous folks at Time. A few interesting tidbits: Most of the world sees tomorrow night's speech as Obama's big coming out. Plouffe and the Obama campaign see it as an organizing event on steroids. Plouffe stressed that there would be 60,000 voters who aren't donors or delegates in the audience tomorrow, roughly half of them from Colorado.
Plouffe On Obama's Strategy: Don't Sleep On Va And Nc
June 25, 2008
A couple interesting take-aways from Obama campaign manager David Plouffe's presentation to reporters at the DNC this afternoon: 1.) The campaign genuinely thinks it can pick off a small state like Alaska, Montana, or North Dakota, where Obama is polling reasonably well this point. Obama has a solid organization in Alaska left over from the February 5 caucuses, while McCain doesn't have any presence to speak of. Plouffe also thought Libertarian candidate Bob Barr could take in the neighborhood of 5 percent of the vote there, allowing Obama to win with 48 percent or so.
A Random Plouffe Detail
June 16, 2008
Something I didn't know about Obama campaign manager David Plouffe when I profiled him a few months ago: He never graduated from college. Here's Bloomberg (via The Page): Studying political science at the University of Delaware, Plouffe planned to spend the summer between his junior and senior years working as a tennis instructor when Harkin's campaign asked him to come to Iowa. He never completed his degree -- something he's reminded of by his former professors each time he returns to his alma mater to lecture. Not a big deal either way. Just something that surprised me.
Some Backstory On Obama And Street Money
April 23, 2008
Two of the guests on "Hardball" just now--Philadelphia-based commentators Michael Smerconish and E. Steven Collins--were pretty critical of the Obama campaign for not paying local ward heelers the "street money" they wanted to help turn out the black vote. (See this L.A.
The Obama Camp On Wisconsin
February 18, 2008
One more thing about that conference call I was just on: I could be mis-reading Obama campaign manager David Plouffe (which would be easy to do, since he speaks in a kind of uninflected semi-whisper), but he seemed pretty confident about Wisconsin. He kept emphasizing that Hillary should do very well there, since the state has a lot of working-class people, not many African-Americans, and holds a primary, not a caucus. But he didn't say it the way campaign operatives do when they expect things to go badly. He said it the way people do when they want to deprive opponents of excuses.