Monday, January 25, 2010

Obama’s Rove

David Plouffe, the manager of the Obama campaign in 2008, had an op-ed in the Washington Post on Sunday that reads like a Knute Rockne-style half-time locker room pep talk for Democrats.

In 2006 and 2008, voters sent an unmistakable message: We want decisive change. This was not just a change of political parties. Instead of a government that works for the entitled and special interests, a government that looks out for Wall Street, they wanted a government that works better for them, a government that plays the role it should to help foster the security of the middle class.

Many of last year’s accomplishments are down payments on those principles.

We still have much to do before November, and time is running short. Every race has unique characteristics, but there are a few general things that Democrats can do to strengthen our hand.

First on the list is to pass a “meaningful health insurance reform package right away.” He doesn’t say to pass the one that is hanging by a thread in Congress, but I assume he’s leaning towards that.

Mr. Plouffe follows up with an ambitious political agenda for the Obama administration and Democrats — job creation, further implementation of the stimulus package, ethics reform, and getting “great campaigns” going for Democrats. You can bet that this is what we’re going to be seeing coming out of the White House since Mr. Plouffe has just been named as a senior adviser to the President, following in the footsteps of previous campaign wizards … like Karl Rove. Let’s hope that Mr. Plouffe has a bit more integrity than that role model; he seems to be aware of the comparison when he issues a stern warning to his fellow Democrats.

No bed-wetting. This will be a tough election for our party and for many Republican incumbents as well. Instead of fearing what may happen, let’s prove that we have more than just the brains to govern — that we have the guts to govern. Let’s fight like hell, not because we want to preserve our status, but because we sincerely believe too many everyday Americans will continue to lose if Republicans and special interests win.

This country is at a crossroads. We are trying to boost the economy in the short term while also doing the long-term work on health care, energy, education and financial reform that will lay a strong foundation for decades to come. Let’s remember why we won in 2008 and deliver on what we promised. If Democrats will show the country we can lead when it’s hard, we may not have perfect election results, but November will be nothing like the nightmare that talking heads have forecast.

At least he didn’t say “win one for the Gipper.” (That’s the other guys.)

There’s obviously some good advice in here for the Democrats at a time when it seems like they’ve run aground. It’s helpful for them in that this is coming from the White House, which indicates that they get it: they’re in trouble and they need to do something about it from a political standpoint as well as actually making policy. And yes, it is possible for the White House to run a political operation at the same time it runs the country’s business and not commit a felony or a violation of the secrecy acts in the process.