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Cover: Viking

David Plouffe, manager of Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and a pioneer in grassroots organizing, will be out March 3 with "A Citizen's Guide to Beating Donald Trump, " via Viking, which includes his message to 2020 voters and campaigns.

"The only way change happens, especially on scale, is one human being talking to another. ... [I]t won't happen because of debates and conventions, it won't happen because of ads. It will happen because citizens take action."

Plouffe told me in an interview that because Trump is a master at dominating attention, "we need to have millions of people out there who are talking to that fairly small universe of [persuadable] people in those battleground states."

  • "I think the affirmative case is as important, if not more important, than a negative case," Plouffe said.
  • "So we need a nominee and volunteers who are passionate to say, 'You know what? I really think this person will be a good president — they're not just an antidote to getting rid of Trump.'"

After the White House, Plouffe — author of "The Audacity to Win" — became a senior executive at Uber. He now leads policy and advocacy at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and lives in San Francisco.

Go deeper: 2020 Democrats drive the national conversation after mass shootings

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Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

5 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.