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early and often

Five Things We Learned From Time’s Excerpt of David Plouffe’s Book

A new book about the presidential campaign by Barack Obama's former campaign manager David Plouffe, is being released on November 3. But if five days is too long to wait, Time is running an exclusive excerpt today of a few notable passages from The Audacity to Win. There aren't any bombshells in there, but it's interesting to get a glimpse of the inner workings of the campaign from behind the scenes. We've gathered five of the more revealing parts to save you the trouble of reading the whole thing yourself (*cough* on another website *cough*).

1. Obama worked on one of his speeches for three decades. Sort of. When he, David Axelrod, and Plouffe were deliberating over how to respond to the Reverend Wright controversy, Obama assured them he was up to the task. "I already know what I want to say in this speech," he said." I've been thinking about it for almost 30 years." In that case, good thing it turned out well.

2. Despite the accusations, Obama really did give serious consideration to making Hillary Clinton his running mate, more so than his closest advisers thought appropriate. "I still think Hillary has a lot of what I am looking for in a VP," he said at one point. "Smarts, discipline, steadfastness." Of course, as we all know, there was also Bill. Joe Biden didn't have a Bill.

3. Joe Biden claimed he wouldn't have run for president if he "knew the steamroller [the Obama campaign] would put together." Right, because he had a good shot otherwise.

4. The Obama campaign was so caught off guard by John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate that when Plouffe found out, he started Googling her like everyone else.

5. Plouffe thinks Obama betrayed the campaign when he distanced himself from a press release questioning Palin's experience, which Obama thought was the wrong tone to take at that particular time. Plouffe even uses the "under the bus" phrase, a favorite of Obama critics during the campaign, who thought it applied to everyone from Reverend Wright to Obama's own grandmother.


"We'll send out a personal statement from you and Biden," [Plouffe] said, "but it's important you not suggest we misfired on the original statement. Don't throw the campaign under the bus."

But when he took a few questions from the press later that day, he proceeded to drive the bus right over us.

The Audacity to Win: How They Did It [Time]

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