David Plouffe, campaign manager of Barack Obama’s presidential run, discussed the difficulties their historic campaign faced and how he overcame them in the Jack Morton Auditorium Monday night.
The event, hosted by the GW College Democrats, was sold out. During the speech, Plouffe gave the audience an inside look at Barack Obama as a person and how the campaign was run.
Obama, who has described Plouffe as the “unsung hero of the campaign,” treated every day like Election Day, Plouffe said.
Obama had extraordinary enthusiasm because “this place you guys are going to school was failing the country,” Plouffe said, referring to D.C.
Plouffe spoke at length about the primary campaign against top competitor Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State.
“We were like a minor league baseball player running against a Babe Ruth,” Plouffe said.
Plouffe thanked GW students for giving “thousands and thousands” of hours campaigning for Obama and described the students’ efforts for the election as the “story of people.” He also spoke about critical turning points during the election, such as Sen. John McCain’s, R-Ariz., selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, which “undercut credibility of the argument about experience.”
Plouffe told the audience that, while a lot can change between now and the mid-term elections, he thinks the 2010 election will show the direction of the party.
“I think the mid-term election is about twenty lifetimes off, but we’ll see where things stand in a year,” Plouffe said. “I have confidence in what President Obama and the party is doing with the health care and the economy with no help at all from Republicans.”
The political operative concluded his presentation by asking the audience to stay involved, even though the presidential campaign is long over.
“Take responsibility for the world we live in,” he said.
Angelo Dalmacio, a first-year graduate student, said Plouffe was part of a “team that revolutionized electoral campaigning.”
“I hope to gain insight that could be used for a future political career,” she said.
GW CD President Peter Weiss said he was enthusiastic about his group’s kick-off speaker.
“It was a surprise that we were even able to get him,” Weiss said.