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Beware the Curse of Shrum

12:08 PM, Sep 30, 2008 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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Mark Leibovich reports:

There were a few cringes within Obama World over the weekend after Bob Shrum, the longtime Democratic operative, essentially placed Barack Obama in the White House. ...

It was Mr. Shrum who planted this memorable Election Night kiss of death onto John Kerry in 2004: 'Can I be the first to call you Mr. President' Mr. Shrum said to the Massachusetts senator after early exit polls showed him defeating George W. Bush.

After television networks called Florida for Al Gore four years earlier, Mr. Shrum declared to a group of Gore aides in Nashville that 'We've finally pushed the boulder up the hill,' he said, according to two people who were with him that night. He was seen hugging and offering congratulations to several people at the Loews Hotel.

Shrum is famously 0 for 8 in the presidential elections with which he's been associated. Luckily for Obama, Shrum has stayed on the sidelines this year. The Obama machine - one of the most effective and efficient campaigns in recent memory - is run by Chicago operative David Axelrod and longtime Gephardt hand David Plouffe. This may be the year the curse of Shrum is broken.