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July 27, 2021 58 min

No operative is more identified with their state's politics than Steve Schale is with Florida. Steve cut his teeth winning tough legislative districts in Florida as the state drifted red, then ran Florida for the winning Obama campaign in 2008 and was deeply involved again in Obama 2012.  And beyond Florida, Steve helmed the Draft Biden 2016 effort and the 2020 Biden Super PAC Unite the Country. This is a great conversation not just about Steve's experiences in Florida politics, but also covering how a high-level political operative approaches campaigns, building organizations, and navigating a career in a tough industry.

IN THIS EPISODE

Steve’s “uncle” who was elected Governor of a Midwestern state (before spending time in prison)…

Steve’s early activism in the anti-apartheid movement…

How Newt Gingrich inadvertently helped Steve during the first campaign he worked…

Steve develops a reputation for helping Florida Democrats win in red areas…

What races Steve thinks are the best training ground to learn politics…

The “argument” Steve had during his Chicago interview to run for Florida for Obama 2008…

The one tactical decision that helped Obama 2008 keep Florida on their swing state map…

Steve talks what put Obama over the top in Florida…

Steve remembers the Election Eve event in Jacksonville when he told Sen. Obama he was going to carry the state…

Steve talks how the Obama 2012 win in Florida was different than winning in 2008…

Why Steve initially held a grudge toward Joe Biden…and what Biden did to win him over for good…

Steve talks how 2015-2016 Draft Biden effort was the most interesting four months of his life…

Just how close did Biden get toward jumping in the 2016 race…

Steve’s role in creating and running the Biden Super PAC Unite the Country…

Steve’s advice for doing live television…

The HR lessons Steve learned from hiring and running a 600-person campaign…

Steve’s international involvement with the NGO American Council of Young Political Leaders…

AND…Biden’s aviators, Jeb Bush, Stephen Colbert, the Congo, Charlie Crist, Rich Davis, Dick Durbin, Florida House Victory, Peter Gabriel, Newt Gingrich, GOPAC, Gwen Graham, Leonard Hamilton, Steve Hildebrand, Michael Jordan, Nelson Mandela, Jonathan Martin, Mitch McConnell, Jen O’Malley Dillon, David Plouffe, Greg Schultz, soft diplomacy, Paul Simon, Jerry Springer, the Tallahassee Crowd, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Doug Wiles, win and advance, & more!

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