News and Commentary

Ex-Obama Campaign Manager Explains How Crisis Not Hurting Trump, Setting Back Biden
Political strategist David Plouffe visits "Wall Street At Large" at Fox Business Network Studios on March 04, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
John Lamparski/Getty Images

In an interview with the “Fox News Rundown” podcast Thursday, former campaign manager and senior adviser to President Barack Obama, David Plouffe, said that, despite the coronavirus crisis, President Trump is going to turn out his voters “almost at a historical level” in November, while Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden’s inability to get much national attention during the crisis is putting him at a serious disadvantage.

“You look at the economic situation and say, ‘How can an incumbent win in that?’ But, you know, no one’s blaming Trump for the damage,” Plouffe said, as reported by Fox News.

“I think if you can lay his crisis response at his feet and connect that to the economy, I do think that’s some headwind he’s got to run into,” he said. But so far, he suggested, that’s not what’s taking place. Instead, the American people are looking to Trump and other leaders with actual authority, like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), while Biden has largely fallen off the national radar.

“But, almost no matter what happens,” said Plouffe, the question remains if Trump can win Rust Belt and other battleground states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. The former Obama 2008 campaign manager’s answer: “Sure.”

The reason, he explained, is that Trump’s base is so “solid,” and, he predicts, pro-Trump turnout will be massive. “I think he’s going to turn out voters almost at a historical level on his behalf,” Plouffe said, “so that makes him very dangerous if you’re Joe Biden.”

What’s making it even harder for Biden, he suggested, is that the crisis is eclipsing the usual campaign season to such a degree that Biden has been forced far into the background — and “there’s nothing he can do about it.”

“He’s not in office. He’s not a governor. He’s not the president,” said Plouffe, as Fox reports. “And truthfully, Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom [and] Donald Trump, citizens want to hear from those folks because they’re the folks making decisions.”

Biden is left having to “leverage” interviews and social media every day in an attempt to gain some national attention in the midst of the new cycle-dominating, economy-crushing crisis.

Plouffe also offered his prediction about what the next four years would be under whichever candidate wins. It will be a term “defined” by attempting to dig the country out of “a really deep economic hole,” he said.

With the Democratic Party already pushing back the date of its national convention from July to August and much talk about a “virtual convention,” Plouffe said that the election might also have to be conducted in an unprecedented manner, perhaps entirely by mail-in.

As a result of the state-wide shutdowns of entire industries, a historic number of people have filed for unemployment. In just two weeks, nearly 10 million Americans filed jobless claims, blowing away any previous records. Before three weeks ago, the highest number of unemployment claims in the country’s history was 695,000, which occurred in 1982. In a two-week stretch since the lockdowns orders have been rolling out, 3.3 million and 6.6 million people have filed for unemployment.

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