It began 22 months ago on a frigid day in Springfield, Ill., almost it seemed on an impulse. There was no money and no real organization - only a vast untapped reservoir of disaffected voters and potential volunteers.
"This campaign can't only be about me. It must be about us. It must be about what we can do together," Sen. Obama said in the February 2007 Springfield speech.
Axelrod recalled, "When we started the campaign, we met around a table like this. And there was just a handful of us. You know, we started with nothing. And Barack said to us, 'I want this to be a grassroots campaign. I wanna reinvigorate our democracy. First of all I think that's the only way we can win and secondly I want to rekindle some idealism that together we can get things done in this country,"
Asked if they seriously thought Obama had a shot, Plouffe told Kroft, "We thought he had a shot. I actually think we knew what big underdogs we were. And he got into this in a very unusual way. Most people plan this from years. They spend a lotta time in Iowa and New Hampshire planning for it. We got into this very unconventionally."
"We planned for days days…," Axelrod joked...
..."My fundamental concern for him wasn't whether he had the capacity, 'cause I think he's the smartest guy that I've ever worked with or known," Axelrod said.
"But it was whether he had that pathological drive to be president. You know, so often, what defines presidential candidates is this need to be president, to define themselves. He didn't have that. And, you know, we told him, 'You're gonna have to find some other way to motivate yourself.' And he did, which was what he could do as president."