David Plouffe, author of The Audacity to Win (Penguin), was the campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. He is credited with the campaign’s successful overall strategy in the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.
Plouffe began his political career when he went to work for Senator Tom Harkin’s 1990 re-election campaign. He later worked as a state field director for Harkin’s unsuccessful 1992 presidential campaign. In the same year, he successfully managed Congressman John Olver’s first re-election bid in western Massachusetts. In 1994, Plouffe managed Delaware Attorney General Charles M. Oberly’s unsuccessful campaign against Senator William V. Roth. Plouffe then worked as campaign director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 1995. In 1996, Plouffe managed Bob Torricelli’s successful campaign to fill Bill Bradley’s New Jersey seat in the United States Senate.
From 1997 to 1998, Plouffe served as Democratic leader Dick Gephardt’s Deputy Chief of Staff. From 1999 to 2000, he was executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
In the winter of 2000, Plouffe joined AKPD Message and Media, but left briefly to serve as a strategist for Gephardt’s unsuccessful Presidential bid. He returned to the firm and became a partner in February 2004. Beginning in 2003, Plouffe and fellow AKPD partner David Axelrod worked on Barack Obama’s 2004 Illinois Senate campaign, beginning Plouffe’s association with Obama. Plouffe remains senior advisor at AKRD.
David Plouffe was interviewed by Richard Wolffe, an award-winning journalist and political analyst for MSNBC television. He covered the entire length of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign for Newsweek magazine, traveling with the candidate and his inner circle from his announcement through election day, 21 months later. His book about the Obama campaign, entitled Renegade: The Making of a President became a New York Times bestseller.
Wolffe began writing about American politics as a senior journalist at the Financial Times, serving as its deputy bureau chief and U.S. diplomatic correspondent in Washington D.C. In that capacity, he managed coverage of business and political affairs in the nation’s capital, and reported on U.S. foreign policy at the State Department and National Security Council.
He first started reporting on George W. Bush and his Texas team in 1999, at the start of the presidential campaign. He travelled with then-Governor Bush for more than a year, through the extraordinary election of 2000.
He joined Newsweek magazine in November 2002 as diplomatic correspondent, covering foreign policy and international affairs. In the 2004 presidential election, he covered the chaotic Howard Dean campaign before switching to John Kerry’s campaign.
Wolffe is co-author of a Spanish cookbook, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America, as well as a follow-up book Made in Spain, and he wrote a 26-part TV show of the same name for PBS television. He has also written for food magazines such as Food Arts and Food and Wine.