Schmidt And Plouffe Team Up For New College Program

If this were Hollywood, the title would be: Schmidt v.

If this were Hollywood, the title would be: Schmidt v. Plouffe II: This Time It's About the Kids. But, in this case, politics isn't quite that dramatic. Barack Obama’s and John McCain’s 2008 campaign managers, once bitter rivals, are teaming up.   Steve Schmidt and David Plouffe are developing a political communications center at the University of Delaware. The two veteran campaign hands both attended the school, but neither graduated.   The university has yet to put out an official announcement, but Elizabeth Perse, the chair person of the communications department at the university, told Politics that both Schmidt and Plouffe are involved in developing curriculum for the program. The program will be an interdisciplinary minor that draws from the communications and political science departments.   The plan is still under development, Perse said, so details remain fuzzy. But, she added, the program has received a lot of support from the administration. The program will be different from similar programs at other universities because it will focus on some of the major political tools of the 2008 election, Perse said.   "We're going to take a focus on new digital technology," she said. "It is going to have a research component and we plan to have polling. There is also a plan to have research on how people receive and process political messages."   Perse also said she expects the contributions of Plouffe and Schmidt to set Delaware apart.   Plouffe, who has given only a few speeches since the election, is also scheduled to speak at the university on Wednesday.    This isn't the first time Plouffe has talked politics with members of McCain’s team. Shortly after the election, Plouffe participated in a post-mortem at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Schmidt was not the main representative of the McCain camp at the event, though, and this program in Delaware sounds like it will be much more extensive.Jeremy P. Jacobs is the staff writer at Politics. He can be reached at  

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