David Plouffe’s official return to the Obama inner circle of advisors is as much to reassure nervous Democrats as it is to do the job he’s been assigned to do.
Plouffe, who penned an op-ed in this weekend’s Washington Post saying the party needs to emerge victorious and pass health care, has been regarded by Obama loyalists and supporters as a smart political outsider who helped the candidate make smart choices during the long presidential campaign. He will help oversee the White House effort to retain as many Congressional seats and governorships as possible for the Democratic party this fall.
The White House selectively leaked details of Plouffe’s new “expanded” role to news outlets this weekend as Democrats are questioning Obama’s decision-making. Congressional Democrats have called for Obama to take a stronger leadership role in the health care fight, political operatives say he allowed Republicans to win the messaging war over the bill and progressives say they haven’t seen Obama demonstrate much if any of the change they voted for.The Plouffe gig goes to the new “fighter” persona President Obama is putting forth following the Massachusetts election. Many of the supporters who are frustrated with the lack of results from Washington remember Plouffe’s steady hand during rough patches in 2007 and 2008.
Supporters seem relieved, writing favorable comments on the DNC’s Organizing for America site. Among them:
I am happy to see that Plouffe is back on board. He was surely missed at all levels.
So glad to see David Plouffe in the midst of it all again we need all hands on decks.
But the advisory job sounds very much like the role always outlined for the former campaign manager once he concluded his book tour.
Plouffe’s gig, which will have him mostly working out of the Democratic National Committee, also falls right in line with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s new push to conduct a “forensic” examination of all their campaigns for this fall.
“We still have much to do before November, and time is running short,” Plouffe wrote.
He said campaigns “can leave no stone unturned” and that operatives must keep targeting those 2008 first-time voters that Obama first attracted to politics.
“We have to show them that their 2008 votes mattered, and passing health insurance reform is one way to start,” Plouffe wrote.
And here’s a flashback to some of the campaign secrets Plouffe detailed in his book “The Audacity to Win.”
Among the revelations in the book are that Plouffe took great enjoyment from how much Democrats like his “no bed-wetting” quote in the New York Times in 2008. He repeated it in the Post op-ed:
“No bed-wetting. This will be a tough election for our party and for many Republican incumbents as well. Instead of fearing what may happen, let’s prove that we have more than just the brains to govern — that we have the guts to govern. Let’s fight like hell, not because we want to preserve our status, but because we sincerely believe too many everyday Americans will continue to lose if Republicans and special interests win.”
Late Update: Organizing for America sent a note pushing State of the Union watch parties to the 13 million-strong email list this afternoon, signed by Plouffe.
“We’ve hit some serious bumps in the road recently in our march toward change. We always knew it would be difficult, but this past week has definitely been a hard one, for all of us,” wrote Plouffe, who has signed several OFA emails in the year the group has existed.
Plouffe told supporters he would be on a conference call available to the watch parties “for a special strategy huddle before the speech.”