The Man Behind The Man

Nice piece in TNR on David Plouffe--one of the architects of Obama's campaign:

It's often assumed that the limits of such political nerd-dom roughly coincide with the borders of Iowa and New Hampshire--that presidential campaigns become momentum-driven, television-saturated affairs once they leave the early states. There's no doubt something to this--the Obama campaign has been running on a mix of soaring rhetoric and media buzz since January. But, under Plouffe, the tedious work of crunching numbers and scouring precinct maps has remained a central campaign obsession. Plouffe has run the entire Obama campaign as though it were the Iowa caucus writ large. And it's brought Obama to the brink of the nomination.

One of the fascinating things to me about this primary is how much the Clinton campaign constructed their strategy around media and spin. We see the effects of that even today, with people unwilling to count her out. Obama, meanwhile, just outsmarted her campaign by looking at the map and seeing what was possible.

Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Dravet Syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy that affects children. Could marijuana oils alleviate their seizures?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In