Mr. Clann has gone out of government over the past several decades, practicing as a lawyer several times and later working with Steve Case, the founder of AOL, at a venture capital investment firm called Revolution. His initial agreement with Mr. Case in 2005 included the right to take unpaid leave in September and October every four years to participate in presidential politics.
Mr. Clann said that when it comes to facing the challenge, he can process a lot of information, focus on things that balance a lot of balls. Problem or opportunity. Let’s narrow in what matters and get the right team. ”
Mr. Case dismissed the concerns of some that Mr. Clann was too much of a Washington insider for this moment in history, noting that as an Indiana native, Mr. Clann would often head home for the Indianapolis 500.
“He’s been in Washington for a long time,” Mr. Case said. But he said, “He’s an Indiana man.”
After mingling among the nation’s top democratic politicians in his years, Mr. Klan has become an expert in helping presidents fight confirmed battles in the Senate. During Mr. Obama’s first term, he played a central role in helping the justices of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan in the Supreme Court.
He developed a reputation as a Democratic Party expert on debate preparation, coaching almost all of the party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates during the last two decades. He made little secret of his frustration with sitting presidents, including Mr. Obama – complaining that he often refused to be prepared.
A memorandum to his clients that Mr. Clann prepared years ago has become a memorial to the party’s best advice for its candidates. The 21 rules he outlined are: Number 10, “Punches are good, counterpunches are better”; Number 13, which states that a candidate can lose a debate at any time, but “you can win it only in the first 30 minutes”; And number 20, which warns not to say something that doesn’t feel right.
“Remember the advice that some elementary school student once gave you at that moment: ‘If in doubt, do not,” Mr. Clain wrote.