Most professional political consultants become hyper-partisan on behalf of their candidate once they lock down a job. John Edwards campaign strategist Joe Trippi, though, is different, and has remained a member of the Facebook group "Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)" since the spring, according to current and historic screencaptures of Trippi's Facebook Groups page. "Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)," with close to 400,000 members, is one of the main independent online efforts to show support for electing Obama president.
In some ways, Trippi's membership in the online group isn't that surprising. In a little-noticed passage in Noam Scheiber's recent TNR profile of Trippi, he revealed that Trippi had previously discussed joining the Obama campaign with Obama's chief strategist. Writes Noam:
Trippi guest-lectured at Northwestern for a class taught by Obama strategist David Axelrod, and the two men briefly discussed how he might join the campaign. Several weeks later, Trippi met with Clinton strategist Howard Wolfson to discuss a possible role in Hillaryland. When neither option panned out, an acquaintance put Trippi in touch with John and Elizabeth Edwards. He flew down to North Carolina for a three-hour conversation and accepted a job with Edwards a few weeks later.
Trippi was quite solicitous of various Obama staffers early on and until it was clear that he wouldn't be brought into the campaign. His discussions with the Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns before joining Edwards have led some in-the-know political insiders to view Trippi as more of a free-agent than a partisan in the current race. As Noam writes, he's in it "For Love of the Game."
Here's a screencapture of Trippi's Facebook Groups page, taken this morning.