WASHINGTON--In another boost for Alexi Giannoulias' Illinois Democratic Senate campaign, David Plouffe, President Obama's campaign manager, hits Chicago on June 30 for a grass roots fund-raiser. Plouffe ran the presidential campaign from its Chicago headquarters and helped mastermind the strategy that expanded the Obama electorate, bringing younger and first time voters in the process.
Giannoulias is looking to broaden his fund-raising base and jazz up and organize the troops with Plouffe. After the campaign, the Obama for America organization was folded into the Democratic National Committee, reconstituted as Organizing for America. Last month, Obama helped OFA kick off its "Vote 2010" mid-term election drive to get those first time Obama voters to the polls in November. Plouffe is advising OFA on its mid-term election strategy.
Plouffe is no stranger to Illinois Senate contests. Joining the Chicago-based firm founded by now White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod in 2001, Plouffe was a strategist for Obama's 2004 Illinois Senate contest.
Plouffe is the third figure from the Obama White House orbit coming to Chicago to help Giannoulias, locked in a battle with GOP nominee Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) Education Secretary Arne Duncan--the former Chicago Board of Education chief-- arrives June 17 for a fund-raiser and a press event. On June 19 Jim Messina, Deputy Chief of Staff--he works for Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel--travels to Chicago for a fund-raiser.