I hope you caught the interview with Obama campaign manager David Plouffe on FoxNews Sunday. If you didn’t, you missed watching one smart political operative.
The first time I heard of David Plouffe was the evening of the Nevada Democratic caucuses. The results were showing that Hillary Clinton had won. But along came a lone voice from the Obama campaign who told the Review-Journal, in essence, "Wait a minute. Clinton didn’t win. Obama won." That voice was David Plouffe who said even though Clinton had won more caucus sites, because of the weighted nature of the assignment of delegates in the Cow Counties, Obama would win more delegates at the end of the day.
While most of the state’s newspaper went to press with a "Hillary wins" headline, the Review-Journal carried a subhead that reflected the fact that Obama may have actually won more delegates. And that is what happened.
So, I don’t count out the brainpower of Plouffe, who saw more than all of the political pundits, including the local ones.
This morning with Fox’s Chris Wallace, Plouffe said the Obama campaign has multiple ways to win. They have several states in play. "We don’t have to pull an inside straight" to get to the needed 270 delegates.
He’s right about that so far as I can see. If the polls are right, this race could be over before Nevadans finish voting. He also said that in the last several days of the race, Obama’s superior ground forces will win the day, especially in swing states.
He may be right about that, too.
I’ve heard reports of this mighty ground game. Obama not only has "feet on the street" he has well-trained, indigenous people making calls to their friends and neighbors.
For example, AP columnist Tim Dahlberg (you no doubt read his column regularly in the Review-Journal) e-mailed me over the weekend to say that he got a visit from the Obama corps at his home in the western suburbs. When he answered the door, the young campaigner said "Hey, you’re the guy in the newspaper!"
Presumably, the youngster asked Dahlberg to vote for Obama and Dahlberg, ever the grouch, said something crotchety and sent the kid on his way.
It nevertheless points to something important. Unlike past campaigns were door-to-door folks are imported and look a bit rummy, Obama’s got his own well-trained people in the neighborhoods on the weekend before the election and they appear to be volunteers from the community who read and comprehend the local newspaper.
Brother, I gotta tell ya, that’s winning strategy.