Grilling time with Plouffe, Axelrod

The two Davids who were central to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign are back in Iowa today for Senator Tom Harkin’s annual Steak Fry. The duo stood next to a huge charcoal grill positioned on a slab of concrete outside a Morton Building on the Warren County Fairgrounds and answered questions from the media throng gathered for the steak-flipping photo op.

After Harkin, Axelrod & Plouffe answered a few questions from the assembled media throng, they walked off the concrete slab toward the restricted area for the big time guests and staff.  But as Plouffe was walking away, he pointed his right arm toward Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times who was standing beside me.

“You’re going to be here in Iowa next weekend,” Plouffe said as he gestured toward Zeleny.  It was not a question, but a sort of exhortation. Plouffe was referring to Sarah Palin, the former Alaska Governor who will be headlining an Iowa GOP fundraiser in Des Moines next weekend.

“She’s our best fundraiser and organizer,” Plouffe said as he walked away to catch up with the other VIPs.

During the meeting with the media, Axelrod repeated some of the things he said in our conversation Friday evening.  Plouffe addressed the idea Democrats aren’t as “energized” as Republicans in 2010.

“Generally, the Republicans do coalesce a little bit earlier in terms of turn out.  Our turn out tends to happen a little bit later,” Plouffe said of Democrats.  We’ve just got a lot more voters and a lot of voters who don’t follow politics as a practice and so we have to go out there and remind them there’s an election, what’s at stake and the choice here is unacceptable to them and their family.

“And a lot of these voters do need to be talked to, one-on-one….We got almost 20 million new voters in ’08…Obviously, Barack Obama inspired a lot of them, but so many of them voted because some one else in their community or their family was going to vote…I think we can make a big improvement over the coming weeks and I think you’re already starting to see that.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.