Jim Messina, the co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s super PAC and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama, is earning “tens of millions” of dollars as “Silicon Valley’s go-to government fixer” in Washington. Messina is also famous as the White House staffer who told Democrats to “punch back twice as hard” in town hall meetings on Obamacare in 2009, and as the campaign manager for President Obama’s negatively-themed re-election in 2012.
Currently, Messina works for companies like Uber and Airbandb, selling his connections in the Obama administration for a hefty price. Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar told Bloomberg News: “We call him ‘The Wolf,’ ” after the Pulp Fiction character who helps the mob dispose of dead bodies and manage other crisis. Bloomberg’s Brad Stone calls Messina “a consigliere for startups that need help winning over legislators”–and notes he works for Clinton’s super PAC all the while.
“Right now, I’m pretty committed to getting Mrs. Clinton elected,” Messina told Stone, though he admits that his millions in consulting fees help to “pay the rent.” He maintains that his paid work is for companies and causes that “I really believe in.”
His clients seem happy: one CEO gushed that Messina was able to use his connections to set up an immediate meeting with California transportation officials that would have taken any other company six months to arrange.
During the 2012 campaign, Messina boasted that President Obama “put in place the most sweeping ethics reforms in history to close the revolving door between government and lobbyists.” He criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case for “accelerat[ing] a dangerous trend toward a political system increasingly dominated by big-money interests with disproportionate power to spend freely to influence our elections and our government.”