Plouffe Discusses His New Partnership With Steve Schmidt

Having spent six months in heated partisan conflict, high-ranking operatives Steve Schmidt and David Plouffe wouldn't appear to have much to bind them as colleagues or political partners.

But the former presidential campaign managers are, indeed, set to work together on a major new education forum designed to spur a new generation of engaged poli-sci majors and astute political operatives.

U.S. News and World Report first broke the news on Monday of the "unusual alliance" behind the University of Delaware's new Center for Political Communication. The former aides to Barack Obama and John McCain both attended the institution though neither has actually received his full degree.

The new Center will combine several academic disciplines in an effort to not just give students a better understanding of how political strategy is made, but also to provide them with the intellectual basis to get involved in governance and campaigns.

In an email to the Huffington Post, Plouffe explained the effort and noted that he will, on occasion, be instructing a class (no word if he'll convince his former boss to guest-lecture).

"We think there is a niche for developing a program that both studies and encourages practical involvement of students in modern political communications," he wrote. "Digital [media] increasingly will grow in import and both Steve and I learned valuable lessons and gained great insight into how political communications could change, rapidly, in the coming cycles."

"I won't teach formally but will lecture," Plouffe added, "as I have been doing for some time irrespective of the new effort.... But I assume I will be spending a bit more time up there as this gets off the ground."