Videos (December 2011) « Obama for America
Obama for America
"Jim Messina: Paths to
270 Electoral Votes" +
3:22 web video from Dec. 29, 2011.
Jim Messina: Hi,
everybody. It's Jim Messina, the President's campaign
manager. I wanted to spend a minute just talking to you about
what we're building on the ground and give you a behind the scenes look
at our maps and how we think we get to 270 electoral votes.
We think there's over 40 different pathways to get there. I
want to spend a minute talking to you about five pathways.
How we start this is the Kerry map. The 246 electoral votes
that John Kerry carried. We believe that those states are all
states that we can carry.
We add to that different pathways. The first is the West,
something I care deeply about since I'm from out there. It's one
of the places we believe in the future will help decide presidential
elections. Obviously there are difficult states. Colorado
and Nevada are states the Democrats hadn't won for a very long time
that the President carried last time. I've been in both states in
the past couple of months; we're building really good teams. And
this is why we do what we do. We believe if we register more
voters, start putting teams into place that can start talking to
voters, we can win these states. If we can win Colorado, New
Mexico, Nevada and add that to Iowa, Barack Obama wins again.
Second is Florida. We can't just have a Florida strategy, but
Florida's the easiest way to 270 electoral votes. We have a big
operation on the ground in Florida. We're working hard to carry
Next is the South. If you add North Carolina and Virginiaxxwe
call this the New South map. We put the Democratic National
Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in part because we believe so
deeply in this map. We've had big electoral wins in 2011 on the
ground, we have great neighborhood teams in North Carolina. And
then Virginia is one of the bellwethers of national politics now.
a place that we've worked very hard in. We have a lot of
Virginians here in Chicago helping us work every single day. We
very good about what we're building.
The next path is the
Midwest. We've probably done more work on the ground in Ohio in
2011 than any other state in the country. Our goal is to win
Ohio, but it shouldn't be the only way there, and that's why these
other pathways are important to us as well.
And the last path is just an important reminder to everyone.
We shouldn't have anyone's old map, including even our old 2008
map. We ought to have new ways to 270 electoral votes. And
that includes winning states that weren't pathways in 2008, and one of
the best examples of that is Arizona. Arizona was not a swing
state last time because Senator McCain was there. There are
hundreds of thousands of eligible voters who are unregistered in
Arizona. We're excited about our opportunities there. In
fact just last month a poll came out that kind of surprised everyone
showing the President leading by a few points there. We believe
we can put Arizona into play and we're beginning the work on the ground
to do that.
So the good news is we have a lot of options. Our entire goal
here is to put as many of these maps into play as possible. And
at the end it's just a financial decision. Do we have enough
money to register the voters we need in Arizona? Can we start
putting more neighborhood team organizers on the ground in North
It's all about whether we have the resources to do that.
People have speculated this is a billion dollar campaign. That's
We don't take PAC money, unlike our opponents. We fund this
campaign in contributions of $3 or $5 or whatever you can do to expand
the map to put more people on the ground to build a real grassroots
campaign that is going to be the difference between winning and losing.
Have a happy holiday. Thanks for all you do. Next year's
going to be a big year. We're going to win, and we're going to do
it together. Thanks everybody.
Notes: The video shows a
confident campaign, working on many fronts. A minor curious point
about the video are the occasional side shots of Messina that make it
appear as if he is speaking to someone in the side of the room.
The beeped out bulls**t is also interesting.