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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reelection HQ

Rick Pearson writes at The Chicago Tribune:
Obama for America will fill an entire 50,000-square-foot floor of One Prudential Plaza, a half-century ago the city's tallest building. Boxes are being unpacked, wiring is getting an upgrade and cubicles are being installed to transform the workplace into a pulsing campaign headquarters. The location is literally across the street from the office used in the successful 2008 campaign.

David Axelrod, former senior Obama presidential adviser and current re-election political guru, justifies the move to Chicago by observing that his replacement in Washington, David Plouffe, compares the White House to working in a submarine.

"He is exactly right," Axelrod said. "You come in before dawn. You have all your meals there. You don't leave the building all that much. And you look at the world through a periscope and you're sitting there in the biggest echo chamber in the world in Washington, D.C., and you don't get a real read on what people are thinking and talking about. That's why I like being here in Chicago and working from Chicago."

be sure, there's plenty of symbolism in the campaign becoming the first in decades to move its re-election headquarters outside the nation's beltway. Given the state of technology — including video conferencing, smartphones, email and in the Internet — a campaign could be based virtually anywhere and critical communications would remain intact.

"It's a fundraising operation. In some ways, it doesn't really matter where it is. A smoked-glass office building in Chicago or Virginia, the same activities go on," said David Yepsen, the former longtime political writer for the Des Moines Register.