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Devin Driscoll to lead President Obama’s 2012 campaign in RI

November 30, 2011

Devin Driscoll, who worked for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in Rhode Island in 2008,  recently returned to the state to run the president’s reelection campaign in the Ocean State next year, Democratic sources tell RIPR.

Driscoll is a Providence College graduate who has worked as a field organizer for Obama for America and deputy state director for Students for Barack Obama.

After leaving Rhode Island to pursue graduate school in at the University of Minnesota, Driscoll returned to the state earlier this month. In 2008, he worked closely with the RI director of Obama’s campaign, Ray Sullivan.

Driscoll didn’t return calls seeking comment. His nickname — “Short Pants” — was bestowed by the late former governor Bruce Sundlun.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported over the weekend on how the president’s reelection bid will have a decidely different flavor from 2008.

If 2008 was about lifting Mr. Obama up, 2012 will have at least some strong element of dragging down his Republican opponent (who the campaign believes will most likely be Mitt Romney). If 2008 was about “Yes We Can” and limitless possibility, 2012 will be to some degree about why we couldn’t (“Republican intransigence”), and why we shouldn’t, at least when it comes to anything the Republican nominee proposes (“His party got us here in the first place”). As Mr. Obama recently told a group of supporters in the deflated liberal bastion of San Francisco, “The Hope poster is kind of faded and a little dog-eared.”

David Axelrod, the president’s senior political strategist, put it this way to me, “The country has gone through a very difficult time, and any incumbent is going to bear some dings for that.” Expressing optimism nonetheless, he added, “It’s a closely divided country, so by definition it’s going to be a close race.”

[Photo: University of Minnesota]

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