Trade Secrets

By Patrick Appel
David Plouffe explains why Obama won:

We had three things that helped us run a very good campaign, and I think this wasn't the case for Clinton or McCain. One, we had a consistent message. What was our slogan the entire primary? "Change we can believe in." We adjusted slightly for the general"Change we need." That didn't change. That was boring to the press, but that consistency, I think, wore well with voters. And we didn't have meetings every day about how to change our message.

We had an electoral strategy, and the primary contest goal was to try to do well in the early states, and win delegates, in the general to play on the big map. We never adjusted that. And third is we didn't have that internal tension and in-fighting, so we could just focus on doing our damn jobs every day, and executing at a high level. And you're right. I've worked in a lot of campaigns and they've been great experiences, but this was by far the most collegial environment that I've worked in, and it was a real pleasure to go to work every day, and we just had a sense of mission. And that can't be overstated. There weren't a lot of closed doors where people were complaining and we were a unit. And once we made a decision, we had made a decision, and no one second-guessed it.


(Hat tip: Noam Scheiber)