Tags: Barack Obama | england | elections | david axelrod | jim messina | barack obama | strategists

Top Obama Strategists on Opposite Sides in UK Election Cliffhanger

By    |   Tuesday, 05 May 2015 07:58 PM

As Britain's national election goes down to the wire, the two men vying to become the nation's next prime minister are both hoping that a top adviser to President Barack Obama will steer them to victory, USA Today reports.

Longtime Obama ally David Axelrod is working for Labor Party leader Ed Miliband.
Meanwhile, Jim Messina, who led Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, is working to help Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister David Cameron hang on to power.

Labor and the Conservatives are running neck and neck, with the latest polls showing the parties dead even or putting the Tories two points ahead, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Axelrod helped elect veteran Illinois Democratic Rep. Paul Simon to the Senate in 1984, and later ran several successful Democratic campaigns before helping engineer Obama's extraordinary victory in the 2008 presidential race.

Messina is serving as a senior adviser to Cameron through his Messina Group organization.

Its website boasts that Messina has been involved in political races from Alaska to New York and "established the modern presidential campaign" by merging politics with technology, helping Obama win re-election.

After Axelrod's client Miliband unveiled a stone this week with the party's pledges etched onto it, Messina tweeted: "Volunteers working our targeted seats on beautiful day in London. No need for stone tablet gimmicks, record speaks for itself."

While Messina has taken a relatively low-profile role in aiding Cameron, Axelrod has become a lightning rod for criticism.

Running a political campaign not unlike those of Barack Obama, Miliband has called for a crackdown on foreigners who avoid paying British taxes. That left him open to charges of hypocrisy last month when the Telegraph reported Axelrod paid no British tax on his reported 300,000-pound (about $450,000) salary for his work on the Labor Party leader's behalf.

There are mounting complaints among Labor MPs that Axelrod has been "invisible" in the run-up to the election and that he seems to have spent more time promoting his biography (which makes no mention of Miliband or Labor) than supporting the party.

"I don't understand what we are getting for the £300,000, I think it is an obscene amount, I don't think he brings anything to the party," said one Labor Party MP. "I have heard nothing from him and I don't want to. He's totally invisible."

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As Britain's national election goes down to the wire, the two men vying to become the nation's next prime minister are both hoping that a top adviser to President Barack Obama will steer them to victory, USA Today reports.
england, elections, david axelrod, jim messina, barack obama, strategists
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2015-58-05
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 07:58 PM
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