Nov 10, 2010 - David Plouffe

After the Election: What now for Obama?

David Plouffe

David Plouffe, a close political adviser to President Barack Obama, assesses the outcome of the Midterm elections, and what they will mean for the remainder of Obama’s term in office.

Plouffe was manager of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. He is an alumnus of the University of Delaware and a Fellow of the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication.

David Plouffe was the campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. After winning the election on Nov. 4, President-elect Obama credited Plouffe in his acceptance speech, calling him “the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the . . . best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.”

Plouffe is credited with the campaign’s successful overall strategy in the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. He was credited by The New Republic for Obama’s success in the Iowa caucus and for crafting an overall strategy to prolong the primary past Super Tuesday. The Chicago Tribune writes, “Plouffe was the mastermind behind a winning strategy that looked well past Super Tuesday’s contests on Feb. 5 and placed value on large and small states.” Plouffe also maintained discipline over communications in the campaign, including controlling leaks and releasing information about the campaign on its terms. Averse to publicity himself, Plouffe’s control over the internal workings of the Obama campaign successfully avoided the publicly aired squabbles that frequently trouble other campaigns.

In May 2008, David Axelrod praised Plouffe, stating that he had “done the most magnificent job of managing a campaign that I’ve seen in my life of watching presidential politics. To start something like this from scratch and build what we have built was a truly remarkable thing.”

Plouffe began his political career when he went to work for Senator Tom Harkin’s 1990 re-election campaign. He later worked as a state field director for Harkin’s unsuccessful 1992 presidential campaign. In the same year, he successfully managed Congressman John Olver’s first re-election bid in western Massachusetts. In 1994, Plouffe managed Delaware Attorney General Charles M. Oberly’s unsuccessful campaign against Senator William V. Roth. Plouffe then worked as campaign director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 1995. In 1996, Plouffe managed Bob Torricelli’s successful campaign to fill Bill Bradley’s New Jersey seat in the United States Senate.

From 1997 to 1998, Plouffe served as Democratic leader Dick Gephardt’s Deputy Chief of Staff. From 1999 to 2000, as executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Plouffe led a national campaign that led the Democrats closer to the majority.

In the winter of 2000, Plouffe joined AKPD Message and Media, but left briefly to serve as a strategist for Gephardt’s unsuccessful Presidential bid. He returned to the firm and became a partner in February 2004. Beginning in 2003, Plouffe and fellow AKPD partner David Axelrod worked on Barack Obama’s 2004 Illinois Senate campaign, beginning Plouffe’s association with Obama. Plouffe worked with Axelrod on Deval Patrick’s successful 2006 campaign for Governor of Massachusetts.


This event is co-sponsored by the University of Delaware Bookstore