Jim Messina (political staffer)
|Jim Messina in May 2009|
|White House Deputy Chief of Staff
January 20, 2009 – January 26, 2011
|Preceded by||Blake Gottesman|
|Succeeded by||Alyssa Mastromonaco|
|Born||1969 (age 43–44)
|Alma mater||University of Montana (B.A.)|
Jim Messina (born 1969) is a political adviser who was the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2011 and served as the campaign manager for Obama's successful 2012 re-election campaign. He is also a strategic adviser to the UK Conservative Party.
Early life, education, and early career
Messina was born in Denver, Colorado, and raised in Boise, Idaho. He graduated from Boise High School in Boise, Idaho in 1988 and earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Montana in 1993. In 1993, as a college senior, Messina managed Democratic Mayor Dan Kemmis's successful re-election bid for Mayor of Missoula, Montana.
In 1995, Messina was hired by Democratic U.S. Senator Max Baucus of Montana. They describe their relationship as father-son-like. In 1999, he became Chief of Staff to Democratic U.S. Congressman Carolyn McCarthy of New York.
In 2002, he ran Baucus's 2002 re-election campaign. Messina "refused to let Baucus attend any debate that didn’t include a third-party candidate whose skin had turned blue from drinking an anti-infection solution, a distraction to help take attention away from the credible Republican candidate." Messina was purportedly responsible for creating an infamously homophobic television ad for Baucus.
Messina became President Obama's White House Deputy Chief of Staff and earned the nickname "the fixer." Dan Pfeiffer calls Messina “the most powerful person in Washington that you haven’t heard of.” He also said that Messina and Rahm Emanuel had a "crazy relationship" and explained that “You’d be in a meeting, and Rahm would bark out that something needed to be done;. Jim would disappear from Rahm’s office, pop through the door a few minutes later and say, ‘Got it!’ or ‘Got him!’”
Messina was Obama's campaign manager during the 2012 Presidential Election. In January 2013, Messina became head of Organizing for Action (OFA), using the Obama For America database and other resources to support President Obama's legislative agenda in his second term. While OFA was formed in 2009 by the President-elect, it was reformed as a political-action non-profit group in January, 2013.
Messina was hired as a campaign strategy adviser to the British Conservative Party in August 2013. Messina will operate from the US during the 2015 general election campaign. In a statement, Messina also added his personal admiration for Prime Minister David Cameron.
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- Hastings, Michael. "Obama Campaign Manager Behind Anti-Gay Ad". BuzzFeed.com. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
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- — President Truman. "James A. Messina (Jim) - Congressional Staffer Salary Data". Legistorm.com. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- Kornblut, Anne E. (2009-02-21). "Low-Profile Aide Messina Tackles Obama's Tough Political Problems". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Huey, Caitlin (2011-04-11). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Jim Messina - US News and World Report". Usnews.com. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
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- Stratton, Allegra. "Tories hire Obama campaign chief Jim Messina". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
- Organizing for Action
- Jim Messina at The Harry Walker Agency
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Jim Messina collected news and commentary at Bloomberg News
- Jim Messina collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Jim Messina collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina official White House site (archived)
- Obama's CEO: Jim Messina Has a President to Sell, Joshua Green, Bloomberg Businessweek, June 14, 2012