Obama’s 2008 campaign manager talks 2020 election, Trump’s reelection odds

Media Credit: Grace Hromin | Staff Photographer

At the event, Plouffe said voters should not underestimate Trump's reelection odds because he has spent years preparing for the 2020 election while holding the most powerful public office in the United States.

Former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager talked intraparty conflict and the 2020 Democratic presidential primary Thursday at Betts Theater.

David Plouffe, also a former senior adviser to Obama, talked about how active citizens can work to defeat President Donald Trump and elect a Democratic president in 2020, like canvassing and reaching out over social media. The event, hosted by independent bookstore chain Politics and Prose, centered around Plouffe’s new book “The Citizen’s Guide to Defeating Donald Trump.”

After weeks of caucuses, the results of the Super Tuesday primaries have narrowed the race for the Democratic nomination to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Vice President and U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.

Plouffe said the two candidates represent different ideological wings of the Democratic Party but emphasized that Democratic voters must be unified and support the nominee – whoever that may be – to defeat Trump.

“What I want everyone to feel is that if you’re knocking on someone’s door or you’re having a conversation through social media with someone, and someone says, ‘I hate Trump, but I don’t think I’m going to vote,’ or, ‘I hate Trump, but I think I’m going to vote third-party,’ you should treat that as probably the most important conversation of your life, other than proposing marriage,” he said.

Plouffe said volunteers in key battleground states like Michigan will determine the outcome of the primary process, adding that his book aims to provide advice on how individuals can become more involved in the political process through means like door-to-door canvassing, making phone calls or engaging with voters on social media.

“If all you’ve done in politics is vote, that’s awesome, but we need you to contribute,” Plouffe said. “If all you’ve done is contribute, we need you to volunteer.”

He added that using social media outreach is necessary because Trump is one of the “best” digital marketers of all time.

“If you hate Facebook, if you hate Instagram, that’s fine,” he said. “But you’ve got to use it for the campaign. You have to beat the game.”

Plouffe cautioned voters to “not underestimate” how hard it will be to defeat Trump because of how long Trump’s campaign has been preparing for reelection.

“Donald Trump has one obsession in life,” he said. “It is to get his election of 2016 ratified by reelection,” he said. “When someone sits in the most powerful office the world has ever known and has actors and state capitals at his beck and call, that should scare us all.”

Plouffe encouraged attendees to engage with disillusioned voters and implore them to consider the impact of their electoral decisions.

“Every war this country ever fought or didn’t and everyone who ever died in one directly flows from who we elected,” Plouffe said. “People have healthcare and live or don’t have healthcare and die. People can start a small business or not. People can breathe foul air or clean air. All of it, all of those things relates to an election.”

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.