As you may or may not have heard, President Barack Obama's first year in office has had its ups and downs. To turn more of those downs into ups, he's brought back David Plouffe, one of the mastermind who helped him get into the White House. Plouffe's task is different now, but Mark McKinnon of The Daily Beast thinks the move will pay dividends, even if Plouffe doesn't affect policy change one bit.

Washington and the media are obsessed by process and personnel stories. They always confer ridiculously exalted status on consultants, rewarding them with outsize responsibility when they win and disproportionate blame when they lose.

And Washington wants a pound of flesh. The media feeds on conflict. They want an admission from the president that things are not going well. And they always read a personnel change as a white flag.


And at the end of the day, that reaction will help Axelrod and company. Even if Team Obama didn’t do a thing differently because of Plouffe’s presence, the press is going to reset the story. Good things—that would have happened anyway, but would have been otherwise ignored—will now be attributed to and written about as the Plouffe factor.

Do you think McKinnon's on the money?