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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Monday, September 6, 2010

In Search of Enemies

David Plouffe carries on the Democratic search for enemies. From yesterday's "Meet the Press" transcript:
MR. GREGORY: Joining us now with a view from the other side we turn to the man who is in charge of getting Barack Obama elected president, his 2008 campaign manager and author of the newly-updated paperback version of his book, "The Audacity to Win: How Obama Won and How We Can Beat the Party of Limbaugh, Beck, and Palin."

MR. GREGORY: Finally, a quote from your book, handicapping the Republican field, this is what you write in the new part of "Audacity to Win." "This is the Republican Party of 2010, and I think it will be the Republican Party for a long time. It is hard to see how a Republican gets the presidential nomination without winning the plurality of the Palin-Limbaugh-Beck base of the Republican Party. Without a drastic change in orientation, they will probably nominate someone a good bit out of the mainstream." Who do you have in mind? Who do you think is the most formidable Republican likely to challenge President Obama?

MR. PLOUFFE: Oh, I have no idea. I mean, this time four years ago there was very few of us talking about Barack Obama running for president, including me. So I think some of the people that we think are going to run may not run. There'll be other people who'll run. We'll see. I wish I could just sit back with a tub of popcorn and, and enjoy it because I think it's going to be quite an adventure.

MR. GREGORY: But who is the leader of the Republican Party, would you say?

MR. PLOUFFE: I think the--I think right now--and this is a problem for them long term--I do think that Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, they are the leaders of the party. And you see whenever--I was struck by--Senator Coburn from Oklahoma, I think, was at a town hall meeting and said, "I don't agree with anything the Democrats are doing, and I don't agree with Speaker Pelosi, but she's a nice person," and got attacked for that. There, there is an intolerance in that party and an extremism that I think is where the real energy is. And so I think, as you see in '11 and '12, as that presidential primary, those are the people that are going to come out to vote. So I think that's where the real energy is, and I think particularly in, in elections where more people vote, in presidential elections where you have a lot more younger people, minorities, independent voters who skew a little bit more moderate, that's going to be a big problem. So we'll just have to wait and see.

But let's get this--through this election first, and then we'll be right on to the next one.

Limbaugh and Palin have high negatives. Beck has less visibility. In a April 2010 CBS poll, 64 percent were either undecided or did not know enough about him to have an opinion. The rest were evenly split.