Barack Obama’s former campaign manager and senior adviser weighs in on what it will take to defeat Donald Trump and repair some of the damage caused by the previous election’s “historically disturbing and perhaps democracy-destroying outcome.”
Plouffe (The Audacity To Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory, 2009) managed Obama’s successful campaigns in 2008 and 2012. His unsurprising goal in 2020 is to take down Trump, and he provides a detailed guide for every American to become involved beyond just voting. Where the author is not offering specific suggestions for individual involvement, he engages in optimistic encouragement to put readers in the mindset to entertain his suggestions. Plouffe wisely realizes that many potential readers feel beaten down by the relentlessness of Trump’s improper behavior and misguided policies, so there is plenty of motivational exhortation that highly motivated readers might find unnecessary. When he turns to voting statistics, he’s on solid ground. Plouffe expresses certainty that Trump will face opposition from at least 65 million voters in the 2020 election. One of the author’s goals is to increase that number to somewhere between 70 and 75 million, which would be enough to win not only the popular votes for the Democratic Party nominee, but also the Electoral College by a comfortable margin. Some of that increased number can be achieved by increasing the percentage of citizens who vote, with additional gains from voters who vote for the Democratic nominee rather than symbolically supporting a third-party candidate. Plouffe also feels optimistic about persuading Obama supporters who—perhaps surprisingly—voted for Trump in 2016. As for individual involvement prior to November, the author favors direct action. Door-to-door canvassing is his favorite method, but he offers alternatives for those who cannot or will not take their opinions to the streets, including campaigning via social media. And while the author would love to change the Electoral College, he wisely tells readers they must live with it again this time around.
Though cheerleading occasionally grates, Plouffe offers good fodder for readers willing to put in the effort and follow his advice.