Podcast | Obama’s campaign manager talks 2020 election excitement

David Plouffe, who managed both of the former president’s successful runs, weighs in on the race for the White House in the age of coronavirus.

Split image of Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Split image: Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Delaware, June 30, 2020; President Donald Trump speaks to a group of young Republicans at Dream City Church in Phoenix, June 23, 2020. (Patrick Semansky/AP; Evan Vucci/AP)

For years, the presidential election of 2020 has been touted as the most important of the modern era. There was little doubt that the months leading up to the November election would be filled with packed arenas and fiery stump speeches. Instead, the dominant images have been of empty seats in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and basement communiques from Delaware. With multiple crises dominating the national conversation, the presidential race has taken a backseat to more immediate concerns. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump's handling of these crises appears to have done serious damage to his approval rating and the threat of coronavirus has limited the public appearances of his challenger, Joe Biden. In the race for the White House, enthusiasm has been hard to come by. For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we invited David Plouffe, the mastermind behind Barack Obama's successful presidential campaigns, to weigh in on the state of the race. We talk about the apparent lack of excitement for these campaigns, whether it is a sign of things to come and if dread and anger will replace enthusiasm as the driving force for this election.

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