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.