Campaign insides from an unsung hero
Anders Pedersen writes about the books, the candidates and the facts that will shape the news ahead of the US presidential elections.
Let’s journey back in time for a moment.
Back to the middle of 2007, before the primary elections would kick off in Iowa. Stop ten guys in the street and ask them who will be the Democratic candidate. Around eight of them would say Hillary Clinton without a second of doubt. The two guys who would say something different, who of course would be Barack Obama, and then a man named David Plouffe.
Most people would now ask with good reason, who is David Plouffe? Obama called him the ‘unsung hero’ of his campaign on election night 2008 in Grant Park, Chicago.
As campaign manager, Plouffe was never really known in the broader public, despite operating as one of Obama’s closest allies along with David Axelrod— Obama’s political strategist.
This was the trio that saw the opportunity to not only challenge but defeat the established ‘Clinton machinery’ and take it all the way to the White House. Yes, it would be the political version of David versus Goliath, but if they followed the strategy, it could work. It was all about Iowa. If Obama could somehow manage to defeat Clinton at the caucus in the very first primary state, he would not only be putting himself on the map as someone who should be considered a serious alternative, but it would also help him build momentum.
As we know today, the strategy worked out for Obama, Plouffe and Axelrod in Iowa. Not only did Obama defeat Clinton, but he did it in a convincing way that made many believe that they would likely win the next primary state— New Hampshire. However, the domino theory the Obama camp envisioned for New Hampshire did not go to plan. Hillary hit back and that was the beginning of epic primary election between Obama and Clinton.
It is this story and many others that David Plouffe is presenting in his amazing book ’The Audacity To Win’, which was published one year after Obama’s historical victory in November 4, 2008.
From a unique inside perspective, Plouffe takes you to the table of decisions. He allows you access to the ‘inner circle of trust’ in the Obama camp. And he presents the stories of the campaign’s ups and downs.
For many reasons the 2012 election will be very different to the 2008 election because this time Obama is no longer the outsider, he’s the favourite.
However, he will still have Plouffe and Axelrod as his allies which is also why Plouffe’s book is so interesting. It gives insight into how Obama and his team approach different aspects of campaigning, challenges and successes. Most important is that it will prepare you for the election just around the corner. After all, a lot of the things that led to Obama’s success in 2008 will most likely be reinvented in 2012. And by his side during this process will be, without a doubt, David Axelrod and David Plouffe.
Title: The Audacity To Win
Author: David Plouffe
This is part of a series of reviews on books written about the US presidential elections.