David Axelrod pushes Jim Messina for the US Senate in Montana. Meanwhile, as British Conservatives team up with Messina for a re-election strategy, a former aide to Margaret Thatcher calls the move a “sad gimmick.”
First, the news that David Axelrod, a senior advisor to President Barack Obama touts former Messina for the US Senate in Montana. Messina is a former Chief of Staff to the now retiring Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), who then ran President Obama’s re-election campaign. Here’s what Axelrod sent out via twitter. (h/t The Hill)
When is the draft @Messina2012 for U.S. Senate campaign going to begin? No one knows Montana better!
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 2, 2013
David Cameron’s bizarre decision to hire Obama campaign chief Jim Messina is a sad gimmick @Telegraph http://t.co/UmHEak1ZBC
— Nile Gardiner (@NileGardiner) August 4, 2013
The news that Britain’s conservatives have hired Messina to aide their 2015 election efforts have also been widely reported. Here’s more from Nile Gardiner’s piece for the UK Telegraph:
David Cameron’s decision to hire Lynton Crosby last November as the Conservative Party’s chief political strategist was a brilliant move that has helped revive the Tories’ fortunes ahead of the 2015 general election. Crosby, who helped John Howard win four Australian general elections, has emphasised the importance of focusing on traditional issues that conservative voters actually care about, including immigration, welfare reform, Europe and combating the power of the trade unions. He has shifted the core messaging away from issues that are a turn-off for many Conservative voters, including gay marriage, climate change and foreign aid, all of which are favourite pet causes of the prime minister and the “modernisers” around him in Downing Street. Crosby’s influence on the party has been overwhelmingly positive, and has put the Labour Party on the back foot for the first time in two years.
In sharp contrast, Cameron’s extraordinary decision to hire Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina as a campaign strategy adviser looks like a desperate gimmick, that will do nothing to help his party in 2015. In contrast to Crosby, Messina is a staunch leftist, who has no experience whatsoever of British politics. His knowledge of Middle England is non-existent. The 2012 Obama campaign, which Messina oversaw, was probably the most left-wing presidential campaign in American history. It was deeply negative and anti capitalist in nature,and focused overwhelmingly on attacking Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s record as a highly successful businessman. The Obama campaign talked the language of class warfare and big government, with a huge emphasis on bailouts, welfarism and increased government spending. It also projected a soft message on illegal immigration.
Politico: Jim Messina jumps across the pond
The architect behind President Barack Obama’s successful 2012 campaign is broadening his reach across the pond: Jim Messina has been hired by Britain’s Conservative party for the upcoming general election.
The Tories hired Messina in hopes of emulating the strategy of Obama’s campaign for reelection, the BBC reported Friday, especially the way it used political organizing and social media strategies.
And, from The Washington Post:
The news was first reported Friday afternoon by BBC News. The Conservatives, also known as the Tories, are in a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats and have come under sharp attack from the left for taking a series of austerity measures to trim the nation’s deficit.
Since leaving office Messina has set up his own consulting shop, the Messina Group, as well as delivered paid speeches in the United States and abroad. His firm’s clients are not strictly political, and include corporate ones such as Caesars Palace casino.