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Video Text: David Plouffe Strategy Briefing

Hey everyone, this is David Plouffe, Barack Obama's Campaign Manager, and we just wanted to spend a few moments with you today talking about where we see the election as it stands right now. We are going to go through a PowerPoint slide show with you.

We're going to start with the map from 2004, very familiar to all of us; it has Bush with 286 electoral votes, and Kerry with 252. The magic number for all of you, who are out there working so hard continuing to contribute money and knocking on doors for us, is 270. We're trying to get to 270 electoral votes. So, Kerry only fell 18 short of that in 2004. So our first goal is to hold on to John Kerry's 252 electoral votes. The good news is we're strong in almost all of those states, very little opportunity for John McCain to play offense. So, the good news is there is a lot of offense for us elsewhere. We're going to be campaigning very hard out west. Barack Obama has unique strength in states like Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada. We're even contesting some unusual states like Montana, Alaska, North Dakota, where right now the race is a about a dead heat. And because of the organization that you have helped us build in states like that, we think we have a good opportunity. Iowa is a very favorable state for us right now. Obviously it is the state that propelled us to the nomination. We have a big lead right now on John McCain. The point is we've got a lot of states where we're playing offense. John McCain has limited opportunity to win back Kerry states;

We've got an enormous opportunity to win back Bush States. Why is that? Well, it starts with Barack Obama's appeal. He's got appeal across the country with independent voters. We think we're going to be able to create historic turnout in the African American community and with younger voters, but also with the organization that you have built. The reason that we think we can be competitive in Georgia, North Dakota, Alaska, North Carolina, is because you guys built a tremendous organization on the ground and we've got to build on that. Even in states that are either solid McCain or solid Bush;

People have a lot to contribute, both in terms of helping us in other battleground states, but helping the party up and down the ticket. We're going to try to register millions of voters between now and election day. We want to build strong grassroots organizations in every state so that we can help Barack Obama win but also help the party up and down the ticket.

The enthusiasm gap is something you should feel very proud about and responsible for. In response to the question, "Are you enthusiastic about the election?" Democrats responded positively 61%, Republicans, only 35%. The LA Times came out with a poll this week. Only 45% of John McCain's voters say they're enthusiastic. 81% of Barack Obama's voters say that they are enthusiastic. So that's going to have real impact on the election in terms of turnout. Democrats are going to be more enthused to turn out. This number also has impact in terms of volunteerism and donations, and it is one of the reasons that we think we can build such a strong grassroots organization, to build on what you've already built around the country. People are enthusiastic about Barack Obama's candidacy. So not only will they turn out to vote on November 4th, but they will also be more willing to volunteer and give small dollar contributions, and we think this could be a key to the election.

We start with unprecedented grassroots support, and again because e of your hard work, we have over 1.7 million donors, and we've got to keep growing that. Over a million active volunteers. And we'd like to see those numbers grow, so that in every precinct America, we've got people working hard every day to talk to their neighbors and convince them to support Barack Obama. Now, we've obviously realized great fundraising support throughout the campaign, so many of you have been so generous. This slide in front of us right now is a warning sign. It is the DNC vs. the RNC. The McCain campaign treats the RNC as their campaign. The DNC has a little over $4 million in the bank; the RNC has over $50 million. So even though Barack's campaign fundraising has gone well, we also have to be cognizant of this disparity.

One of the reasons we have to raise so much money is that before too long the RNC's going to start spending this money on negative ads. We're running against the Republican apparatus after all, and we think at the end of the day they're going to have all the money they need to run the kind of campaign they think they need to run. If you look at this slide right here, this is from John McCain's own campaign, and they make the point, they have a fundraising advantage. SO the point is we can't rest on our laurels. WE need to fight back, and so you've done so much already, we're going to ask you to do even more in the coming weeks, so that we can get Barack Obama's positive message out there, build the kind of campaign we need to nationally, but also respond to these Republican attacks. So, to end, this is a campaign that's never accepted donations from Washington Lobbyists or PACs. We've now asked the DNC to follow our own rules. This campaign's been built on the backs of millions of Americans who believe in change and want to take their country back. The reason we've gotten this far, winning a primary campaign when most of the establishment was on the other side, and being in such a strong position now as we head into the closing weeks of the general election, is because of your hard work. The $25 or $50 that you've been able to give us, the time you've spent knocking on doors and making phone calls. We've never seen a campaign at the presidential level so dedicated to belief in the strength of the grassroots, and our own success dictated by your support. The John McCain, the RNC, the shadowy outside groups, are not going to let this election happen without a fight. And so right around the corner we're going to see millions of dollars attacking Barack, attacking Michelle Obama, and we have to have the ability to fight back. So if you can help us again with a donation to help build our campaign in all fifty states, in these battleground states, to make sure we're prepared for the onslaught of Republican negative ads that are about to come, you're going to put us in a very strong position to win this election.

So I just want to thank you for all you've done. We're only here because of your hard work and support. The great thing about this campaign is that we learn from you every day. You're out there making this campaign happen. We're going to have to rely on you each and every day to own this campaign and to make sure that our campaign for change is successful on November 4th. I just want to thank you personally for all you've done. You inspire us every day and we look forward to working with you in the days and weeks ahead.

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