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November 5th, 2009
06:20 AM ET

David Plouffe – The Audacity to Win

Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from The Audacity to Win by David Plouffe. Copyright © 2009 by David Plouffe.


The Audacity to Win

By David Plouffe

Excerpted from Chapter 6: Roller-Coaster Time

On Friday, January 4, we landed in New Hampshire after
4:00 a.m. As we got to the hotel, it was nearly time for the day’s
first conference call, so I skipped sleep altogether. Instead I
checked our online fund-raising numbers; they were through the
roof, with over $6 million raised in the hours since we were declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses. It was like a lit
match had been dropped in gasoline. New donors and fund-
raisers were showing up everywhere, wanting to help a potential winner, and our previous
donors and fund-raisers were digging deeper as their initial investment was rewarded in Iowa.

Obama made it clear from the beginning that he did not want to be left shouldering a big debt. I had always managed campaigns that way, so we had prepared for the worst and had hoped for the best, budgeting conservatively post-Iowa and projecting only $10 million raised for all of January. We assumed that even with a loss we could cobble together enough money through our diehard supporters to execute our game plan in the remaining early states.
Now, we almost certainly would raise over $10 million in the first eight days of January alone and might raise over $30 million in January, giving us what we believed would be a huge financial advantage for Super Tuesday. In the space of a few hours, we had not just won Iowa but also considerably strengthened our ability to compete against Clinton in a drawn-out slugfest.

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Filed under: Politics
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. devon

    I donated for the first time ever to Obama and would do it again in a second. I live in freaking Oklahoma and I know several people who like him and think he is doing a good job.

    I am a 33yr old white, straight, female, mother, graduate student.

    The only thing I wish he would hurry up and do it repeal DADT, and nationally legalize gay marriage and marijuana. I think he is waiting to get health care reform passed first though.

    OBAMA in 2012!!!!!

    December 2, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  2. steven

    Obama may not always be right but he's always the President.
    Josh has it right,what are the GOP ideas? The last 8 years ideas did not do very well. May they can improve on the old ideas? I doubt that! Give Obama more time.

    November 30, 2009 at 12:22 am |
  3. Mike Houston Texas

    President Obama know this that Millions of Americans believe in you, don't worry about the small stuff together as Americans we can make it happen. The American People stand with you Sir, stay the course don't allow Washington insiders and special interest groups or People fool you remember who you are what you you stand for. Our Commander In Chief is an Honorable Man and as such he deserves our Support and Respect as The Leader Of The Free World. 2012 Yes We Can, And Yes We Will.

    November 29, 2009 at 4:11 am |
  4. Josh

    All you hear from the GOP is complaints about things Obama has/has not done. Firstly, they need to start publicizing their own ideas. If Obama cannot do it, do you think anyone else could?...No. Secondly, all I hear are sad GOP members complaining about everything Obama has/has not done, it makes me wonder where the education of politics went when these people were in school. Sure the executive is the single most powerful PERSON, but not the the most powerful BRANCH in government. Any federal governmental process is a long, drawn out procedure encompassing all branches and parties of the government.

    November 23, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  5. Wally


    Just a question, the first thing Obama did when he was in Office was to pass the so called Stimulas Bill. Remember he said that if it passed and Uncle Sam were to spend the trillon dollars that it costs that the unemployment rate would not go above 8% yet here we are with it above 10%.

    Obama was elected because he claimed that he had the answer but a year later all he and other dems such as yourself is to blame Bush for everything.

    Where is Mr. Hope and Change?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  6. fred

    well said all they try to do is spin things cause theyre still pissy about getting crushed by the almighty powerful base not the independent.base aint going nowhere so look out for you really think palin or who ever else stand any sort of chance.shes blond incognito.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  7. Dianne

    Obama won because he was the best candidate. As to the new GOP talking points where-are-the-jobs, that is just such a stupid question/demand to pile on Obama's shoulders in less than a year as our president. I'm from Chicago, a city full of empty manufacturing buildings .. jobs that have been lost, not only from Chicago, but from the USA for years. Where was congress for decades as jobs exited this country? These jobs wont be coming back and this new attempt by the GOP to mislead the american people by switching to the jobs-blame-Obama-game is sad ... where are THEIR ideas on how to restore these millions of jobs .. let's hear some ideas as opposed to spin and blame?? GOP, my advice is to do something FOR this country rather than hang on to spin, deception and lies in order to regain your power. Most of us arent stupid out here! Weary of this blame game.

    November 19, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  8. Mitchell

    Even the life long "Yellow Dog" democrats that I know are really silient now. They got change that they never believed would happen in our free country. They are confused and feel betrayed. They see changes going on in their beloved country that have them frightened. Why would they not look forward to living in a bankrupt and socolist country complements of the democrats that they have supported so mindlessly for so many decades.

    November 5, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  9. Len Brown

    Will some one please ask Obama how many manufacturing jobs he has saved or created? That would be a good gauge on how well the stimulus is working. Its nice that he saved 10k teachers jobs, but we are not a nation of teachers.


    November 5, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  10. Ted

    Claim all of the credit, just like a Democrat, in actuallity Obama only won because enough Independents were sick og George Bush and thats all! The tides a turning again and since Obama felt compelled to only help out the banks and the poor he will lose in 2012! You cant pull that stunt off twice in a row! You cant screw the middle class tax payer from both ends and win twice in a row! He has sealed his own fate! I live in middle Michigan where Obama dominated and funny thing cant find a supporter of his now!

    November 5, 2009 at 7:09 am |