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.