Obama aides express confidence amid campaign rituals
David Axelrod and David Plouffe briefed reporters on Monday.
November 5th, 2012
03:35 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama aides express confidence amid campaign rituals

Madison, Wisconsin (CNN) - Top aides to President Barack Obama on Monday expressed their confidence in an Election Day victory and placed stock in their campaign rituals.

"It's like the end of a long running series and all the characters are coming back," said David Axelrod, who has been a longtime aide to Obama, both on the campaign trail and in the White House.

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Axelrod and David Plouffe, who was Obama's campaign manager in 2008 and is currently a senior adviser in Obama's White House, briefed reporters in Madison, Wisconsin at Obama's first of three campaign events wearing their 2008 campaign black fleece jackets.

Monday is Obama's final day on the campaign trail as a candidate, and Plouffe said the candidate was heading into it "incredibly energized," both by the prospects for winning a second term and working together with Republicans if he stays in the White House.

"We move into a slightly different stage" in a second term, he said, regarding the ability of Obama to work with Republicans on Capitol Hill, should he win reelection.

On the strategic side, Axelrod said Team Obama had mapped out many ways to 270 and "all those pathways are intact."

The most direct route for Obama to reach 270 electoral votes would be to hold each of the states listed as solid or leaning in his favour on the CNN Electoral Map, including Pennsylvania, and win Florida and Ohio, the two largest states considered a "toss up" between him and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. Another oft-discussed route would be through Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin, the so-called "Midwestern firewall."

A series of polls in several key battlegrounds show the race is extremely tight.

Romney's campaign has expressed similar confidence, with senior adviser Kevin Madden telling reporters Sunday evening, "I think we're going to win on Tuesday, and I think we're going to win on Tuesday because we've had the best closing message, the best closing argument - and because of the enthusiasm that we've seen for the governor."

Axelrod said Monday he expected Obama to win both the Electoral College and the popular vote.

In another election ritual, Obama is expected to hit the basketball court this week, and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama's former personal aide, Reggie Love, was directed to put together a game. Love was at Obama's side throughout the 2008 campaign and for the first half of Obama's White House term, and previously played basketball for Duke University.

"I think it's safe to say all rituals will be observed," Gibbs said.

- CNN's Gregory Wallace and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • David Plouffe
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Ind.

    The left is clearly and obviously delusional.

    ROMNEY / RYAN 2012
    Because there really isn't any other choice.

    November 5, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. abby

    God be with you guys and your families! God be with our President and his family! America will win tomorrow! We will win tomorrow! Forward! OBAMA 2012!

    November 5, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |

    Hopefully the President will not have to deal with a TEApublican House. I'm not worried about the Senate. That will stay with the dems. As far as Willard's closing message goes, it's way off from what his opening message was. I don't see how true conservatives can vote for this man when he's flip flopped on all of the issues.

    November 5, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |

    In the words of Ann Coulter: "If we don't run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we'll lose."

    I actually agree with her on this one point.

    November 5, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Maxx

    "I think we're going to win on Tuesday, and I think we're going to win on Tuesday because we've had the best closing message, the best closing argument – and because of the enthusiasm that we've seen for the governor."

    Translation: don't pay any attention to the polls or the electoral college, Mitt is going to win because he says so.

    November 5, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. truth hurts

    It will be SOOO NICE to not see these lying clown faces on TV after Romney is sworn in. Soon they will both be able to retreat back under whatever rock they came from.

    November 5, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. 2012

    I'm confused on who's running for President, obama or Clinton. Why do I get the feeling that people think they are voting for Clinton again!

    November 5, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. cali girl

    Please CNN run some stories on the long lines in early voting states, the cut hours and cut number of days to vote.
    There are some voters spending as much as 7 hours to vote.

    November 5, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. truth hurts

    Maybe Obama was too busy playing basketball when the call came in from Benghazi that our people were under attack? When is Obama gonna come clean on what he knew, when he knew it and what he did??? Or will he continue to lie and deny and hope he can bury the details of his incompetence during a second term???

    November 5, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |

    China in all its new found wealth cannot match America because Democracy is key to success and China still has a long way to go. But what is happening in America is sending a wrong message of confused democracy. The truth is that the era of conservative capitalism is gone. It never actually exited. Adam Smith one of founding fathers emphasis democratic principle of justice and equity as the framework for the market and capitalism. There is no capitalism without capital with large number of sellers and buyers not only 1% of the population. This is exactly the Obama doctrine. The problem is that Obama is not clear enough of his economic principles. I think there is why his message has been confused as socialist. Please, in your second term I will suggest you read Das Capital – the socialist book of Karl Marx and An Inquiry into the Wealth of nations – the capitalist book of Adam Smith and other moral and ethics books of Adam Smith. Socialism is dead and dead forever but the truth is that for capitalism to be sustainable there must be equity and justice based on democratic principles. If not capitalism will self destruct itself as predicted by Karl Marx but this cannot happen because because along the way people like Obama come along. I wish Obama well and we hope that in his second term he should also be firm in Jesus Christ because the spirit of Christ teaches you all things. Thank you. I am looking forward for November 7th for Obama victory. Amen.

    November 5, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F

    When are right wingnuts going to accept the blame for our near depression, two unfunded wars, unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy, and turning a national debt of $12 trillion over to President Obama, a GDP of negative 9%, and a job loss of 8 million in Bush's last three years? Oh, don't forget "W" being asleep at the switch on 9-11.

    November 5, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F

    I'm confused about which republican is running for president, Trump, the Kochs, Norquist, or Sean Hannity.

    November 5, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Critical Thinking

    Can't wait to see Axelrod shave off his moustache after Romney win the state of PA and with it the Presidency. He is such a tool.

    November 5, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. DENNA

    @ – Ind. – The left is clearly and obviously delusional.
    ROMNEY / RYAN 2012
    Because there really isn't any other choice.
    LOL The BEST CHOICE if President Barack Obama. Rawmoney and his henchmen do not care about America, only about getting into power to finish up the Bush ruination of the middle class. No thanks!

    November 5, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. WIN WIN Situation

    If either parties win...we all still win. We should be very thankful to the men and women that fought for the freedom we have today. The right to vote is truely an honour. Let us hope which ever is chosen leader, is truely a leader.

    November 5, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |

    As an economist I need to be objective in my thinking. Just as I wish Obama in their second term and Mitchell well, I alsoi wish Romney and Ann Romney well in their future endeavor. I have no doubt Romney could have been a better thinker if not for his Mormon Church whose doctrine is too conservative. The problem with Romney is that he is confusing conservatism with Capitalism. Those who think conservatism in 21st Century World is actually unAmerican. This statement has an implication for both Democratic Party and the Republican Party. In the Democratic Party what do people mean when they say they are leftists or socialists? In the Republican Party what do people mean when they say they say they are conservatives? These are meaningless concepts for the 21st Century. Meaningful concepts include invention/innovation, entrepreneurship, eco-solutions, eco-dynamics, etc. Bravo Obama 2012/Biden. Amen!!!

    November 5, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    There are several things in this election campaign that worked against Romney; the Republican Primary Election, the Republican Congress, the Tea Party, all George W. Bush's people starting with Karl Rove et al, Republican Governors in bordering States like Gov. Jan Brewer immigration policies, Romney's failure to show his tax returns, Romney/Ryan's refusal to anything until after election, lying about the auto industry, that famous 47% comment, Paul Ryan's Budget Plan, Rush Limbaugh, John Sununu's racist statements againts Colin Powell, Trump's interference, war on women rights, gay/lesbian rights, legal rape, too much time talking about Obama and attacking his every word, Romney's constant flip flopping, there are so many things including the big money donors that hurt Romney.

    November 5, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. An Ohioan who voted for Obama

    It is very telling that Romney is not even contesting MA because his record there as governor is terrible. The following facts about his jobs record in MA are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

    "Under Romney, MA fell to 47th out of 50 states in job creation and the median income declined."

    "When he left office, MA's unemployment rate was higher than the national average for the first time since 1995."

    "In Romney's first 2 years, wages fell by 5% – the steepest in the nation. While the median income was on the rise, it was dropping in MA."

    "Economic growth trailed the rest of the country every year he was governor, and job growth failed to keep up with population growth, even as the reverse was true in the rest of the country."

    "He was going to be our state governor, the state's top salesman who could talk businessman to businessman and bring home those good-paying jobs. It was all bunk, of course."- Steve Bailey, Boston Globe Columnist, 2-15-06

    The fundamental question is thus this: if those who know him best (MA) do not want Romney, why should anyone else?

    November 5, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |