Reading through POLITICO’s latest ebook by Glenn Thrush and Jonathan Martin — a well-spent Christmas afternoon, by the way – it’s interesting to note that despite all the talk of the Obama campaign’s reliance on data and analytics, the brain trust in Chicago was also obsessed with superstitions, particularly after the president’s disastrous performance in Denver at the first debate.
As Thrush and Martin report, the unlikely ringleader of the “superstitious obsessive-compulsive disorder” was the uber-rational David Plouffe. Here are some fun tidbits they dug up about th eguidelines the Obama camp followed before the second debate:
- No Thai food, because that’s what the team ate before the Denver debate.
- No one can wear the same clothes they wore before Denver.
- No one can follow the same exercise routine. (“If you had gone for a jog thirteen days earlier, you went for a swim this time,” Thrush and Martin write.)
- The debate prep team was moved from one conference room to another to shake off “the evil black magic,” as one staffer told Thrush and Martin.
- Plouffe ordered David Axelrod to find and wear the tie he wore on Election Day 2008.
- The team ordered Houlihan’s chicken tenders because that’s what someone remembered eating in the final days of the 2008 campaign.