You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

The Obama Camp On Wisconsin

One more thing about that conference call I was just on: I could be mis-reading Obama campaign manager David Plouffe (which would be easy to do, since he speaks in a kind of uninflected semi-whisper), but he seemed pretty confident about Wisconsin. He kept emphasizing that Hillary should do very well there, since the state has a lot of working-class people, not many African-Americans, and holds a primary, not a caucus. But he didn't say it the way campaign operatives do when they expect things to go badly. He said it the way people do when they want to deprive opponents of excuses. At various points he said things like, "They've had a lot of creative reasons for not winning," and, "This fits none of their criteria for why they shouldn't win a contest." We'll know soon enough if that (apparent) confidence is justified.  

Update: The WaPo's Dan Balz saw the Plouffe conference call as a sign of concern on the part of team Obama. We obviously seized on different aspects of the call. Having said that, I think there's a way in which we could both be right. It's possible that the Obama people expect to win, but by a smaller margin than any of us might have expected following the Potomac primary. The point of this call could have been to say, in effect, "Don't be surprised if we only win narrowly here. It's a state where Hillary should do well, and so it's an impressive achievement for us--and a blow to her--if we win by any margin. Don't buy her post-game spin about making Wisconsin close..." 

--Noam Scheiber