Arianna Huffington's review of David Plouffe's new book on the Obama campaign, The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory, reiterates again and again how the campaign team would ask themselves if they were retaining the vision and values the campaign determined it wanted to maintain. If they determined they were not hewing to them, they'd re-evaluate, refresh and get back to those values of not doing things the same old way. They went back to seeking real change and not getting sucked into the DC undertow of same old.
Yesterday's election shows that they have failed to keep to that policy.
Maybe Obama appointed too many people with White house experience.
Maybe Obama has been distracted with a plethora of genuine crises and challenges, so he's put the "Vision thing" of change lower down on the priority list.
But the people of America-- the mass of independents and young people-- who elected Obama fell in love.
They fell in love with a man who had the courage to stand up for change.
They fell in love with a man who spoke to them with words so powerful and moving Shakespeare would have approved.
They fell in love with the idea that a strong, principled leader could go to Washington, and if given the power, really make changes happen.
The off season election has shown us that the glow on the romance is fading, at best.
Something was lost when Obama moved to the Whitehouse, something Plouffe describes in his book which existed during the campaign,
It's easy to get distracted by crises and the demands of a house, where a thousand demands are thrust upon you daily, where your trusted, closest advisers each bring their pet issues and values to you.
And you never know, when you have someone, or a nation, or a world of people tired of George Bush fall in love with you, what it was that caused them to fall in love with you.
Arianna Huffington writes, in her extraordinary review of Plouffe's book, titled,Obama One Year Later: The Audacity of Winning vs. The Timidity of Governing
...key takeaway from the book: the fact that everything in the campaign flowed, as Plouffe puts it, from Obama's conviction that "the country needed deep, fundamental change; Washington wasn't thinking long-term... the special interests and lobbyists had too much power, and the American people needed to once again trust and engage in their democracy."
Axelrod -- or "Ax" as Plouffe refers to him throughout the book -- summed up at the beginning of the campaign the core elements of the message that would guide them: "change versus a broken status quo; people versus the special interests; a politics that would lift people and the country up; and a president who would not forget the middle class."
Running a different kind of campaign became "shorthand" for the campaign. Whenever they found themselves drifting towards standard political behavior, they'd ask themselves: "If we do this, how is that running a different kind of campaign?"
As Plouffe told me: "We made sure that everyone we hired internalized our core message and defaulted to those touch points when making decisions. For our break-the-rules strategy to work, we all had to remain faithful to its principles all the time."