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 45–46)
|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 senior 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 and journalism 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. Congresswoman 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.
In 2005, he re-united with Baucus and became his Chief of Staff. Messina was integral in devising the Democratic strategy that prevented the allowance of private accounts within Social Security. Messina was credited by the New York Times Magazine as the brains behind the defeat of President Bush’s plan.
Messina was hired as National Chief of Staff for the Obama campaign in the 2008 general election. He was credited with leading the efforts to staff up for the general election and controlled a $750 million budget, which he told the New York Times magazine was like “getting the keys to a fucking Ferrari.” After Obama won, Messina was named Director of Personnel for the Obama-Biden Transition team, helping Obama pick his cabinet.
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 integral to the passage on the Affordable Care Act and was widely credited with the effort to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
Messina was Obama's campaign manager during the 2012 Presidential Election. For his work, the American Political Consultant’s association named him the International Strategist of the Year. 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. He also founded The Messina Group, a full-service consulting firm with offices in Washington, DC, New York, San Francisco, and London.
Messina was hired as a campaign strategy adviser to the British Conservative Party in August 2013. Messina operated from the US during the 2015 general election campaign. In a statement, Messina also added his personal admiration for Prime Minister David Cameron.
Messina is currently the co-Chair of the Priorities USA Action, a SuperPAC, which supports the election of Hillary Clinton as President in the 2016 election. 
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- "JIM MESSINA opens The Messina Group, with focus on Obama and progressives -- GEITHNER plans no-fee college tour on the craft of crisis response -- BIG WIN FOR MAYOR BLOOMBERG in Chicago race - POLITICO Playbook". POLITICO. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
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- Stratton, Allegra (2013-08-02). "Tories hire Obama campaign chief Jim Messina". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
- "Priorities USA Action Announces New Leadership". Priorities USA Action.
- 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