Britain’s governing Conservative Party has hired Barack Obama’s former Deputy Chief of Staff to help run its election campaign.
Bloomberg reports that Jim Messina arrived in London on Monday to join the campaign to return Prime Minister Theresa May to power and secure the Conservatives a bigger majority.
Mr. Messina was campaign manager for President Obama in 2012, and then served as co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential super-PAC, Priorities USA Action.
He famously told Democrats in 2009 to “punch back twice as hard” at town hall meetings on Obamacare, and in 2015 was revealed to be earning “tens of millions” as “Silicon Valley’s go-to government fixer” in Washington, D.C.
Over in Britain, he also served as an ad hoc advisor for the pro-Remain Britain Stronger In Europe group during last year’s referendum campaign, and before then was a major player on David Cameron’s 2015 General Election team.
During the 2015 battle, he was credited with helping the Conservatives target voters who could be persuaded to switch from the left-wing Liberal Democrats. In the event, the Liberal Democrats lost 27 of their 57 seats to the Conservatives.
In the run-up to the Brexit referendum, he wrote: “Given these challenging economic times, the very last thing we should do is risk the UK and EU economies with this risky [Brexit] move.”
Mr. Messina will re-join many other key figures from the Conservative Party’s 2015 campaign, including political strategist Lynton Crosby, pollster Mark Textor, and digital media specialists Craig Elder and Tom Edmonds.