SALT Conference 2015: On The Campaign Trail With Dan Pfeiffer by Charles Enser, Benzinga
Dan Pfeiffer and Skybridge’s Anthony Scaramucci sat down for a one-on-one conversation Friday at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas.
SALT Conference – A House Of Cards
“The White House isn’t like House of Cards. The president’s strength is to see the long-term goal,” began Dan Pfeiffer.
Scaramucci asked what it’s like working there by paraphrasing Francis Underwood when he looks at the camera and says, “you’re out there making money, but the action is here in Washington.”
Dan Pfeiffer agrees that the, “intensity and opportunity is hard to replicate anywhere else. You’re playing a level of the game that only exists there [at the White House]. Once you walk in those shoes, it’s hard not to see all the smart people doing what they think is best for the country.”
Pfeiffer said President Barack Obama is very personable. While campaigning, they would joke that if Obama could sit in everyone’s living room and have a conversation, then people would like him even if they disagreed with him. “He’s a good decent person who really likes people.”
SALT Conference – Obama’s Personal Change
“So tell us about how the president has changed,” Scaramucci asked.
“Deep down, he’s the same person,” Dan Pfeiffer said. “He had very high hopes about working with republicans when he took office and he’s disappointed things didn’t work out that way.”
Obama has made people feel good about the progress of the country, he continued. The core of that is the healthcare law that was passed. Healthcare was, “the big elephant in the room. Looking back, it was a moment in history.” He agrees the law isn’t without flaws, and he believes that after Obama leaves office, those flaws will be fixed.
SALT Conference – Polarizing Congress, Political System
As for Congress, Pfeiffer said the political system is absolutely polarized. He resigns that he doesn’t see an immediate way to fix the problem because more than ever, people surround themselves and congregate with others who share similar beliefs and ideologies. The change will occur with the younger generation.
“They’re much less partisan, more independent, and very involved in their country.”
Scaramucci asked for him to pretend to be a republican for a moment.
Dan Pfeiffer said, “republicans are starting out with a structural disadvantage in the electoral college.”
Democrats have an easier time securing a win than republicans do. The best republican candidates are Scott Walker and Marco Rubio because they represent change.
“If it’s a battle between the Bush legacy and the Clinton legacy, then the Clintons win because Bill is much more popular.”
Dan Pfeiffer does concede that after running a state like Florida for so long, Jeb Bush is more capable to run the country, but the problem is getting elected.
As far as the economy is concerned, Dan believes America will still be the largest economy in the world in 15 years.
“We have a tremendous ability to innovate. Some people say we’re moving into an innovation era and in that, we [Americans] have a definite advantage.”