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.

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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.

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