Since teaming up in 2004 to orchestrate Obama's senatorial bid—the same year Plouffe became a partner in Axelrod's firm, AKPD Message and Media—each has served as the yin to the other's yang. Axelrod, the former columnist and veteran of Chicago politics, became the voice of the campaign, while the younger Plouffe—a college dropout with years of electoral experience—stayed behind the scenes and crunched the numbers, famously devising a path through the primaries that allowed Obama to upset the presumptive favorite Hillary Clinton. (Perhaps these guys aren't named "David" by accident.) Together they ran a campaign that exhibited discipline in everything it did—from messaging to font treatments to online networking—and which will serve as the blueprint for many campaign cycles to come.
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