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Plouffe: Obama Boxed In Clinton in Early States

audacity%20to%20win.jpgThe tone of national politics of late has even me a bit weary and looking for breaks, but I am antsy to get a hold of Obama campaign manager David Plouffe's new book, The Audacity to Win. The strategizing and maneuverings of the major national campaigns is fascinating to me and Plouffe fesses up to one of the biggest rumors of the 2008 Democratic primary season. He acknowledges that he and the Edwards campaign worked together to "box in" Clinton when the DNC stripped Florida and Michigan of their delegates for moving up their primaries.

Talking Points Memo excerpts the following passage:

"Emboldened by the drift of the rules committee, we took it to the next level. I asked Steve Hildebrand to go on a secret diplomatic mission to speak with the four early-state party chairs, encouraging them to ask all the candidates to sign a pledge stating they would not campaign in any states (Florida and Michigan) that had violated the rules and were threatening the approved early states' primacy.

Yes, this was in our self-interest. But it was also in theirs. If these two big states were penalized as severely as possible, and we all committed not to campaign in them, then the role of the early states was protected with no ambiguity."

When contacted by TPM for comment, Howard Wolfson, Clinton's top press hand during the campaign simply replied, "Smart politics."


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