Obama’s Campaign Manager Takes Top Job With Conservative Prime Minister

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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One of President Barack Obama’s most trusted advisers is using his skills to help the United Kingdom’s Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.

Campaign manager on the 2012 Obama campaign Jim Messina signed on as a senior strategic adviser to Cameron’s campaign to the keep the U.K. in the European Union.

“Given these challenging economic times, the very last thing we should do is risk the U.K. and EU economies with this risky [Brexit] move,” Messina told Politico in an email.

The British people will decide for the first time in 40 years Jun. 23 whether they will remain in the EU or whether they will leave and forge a new path outside the Brussels institutions. The Conservative Party promised the electorate a vote on Britain’s EU membership if it won the 2015 general election. (RELATED: What is Brexit? Everything You Need To Know About Britain’s EU Referendum)

After months of negotiations, Cameron introduced a deal he believes he can recommend to the electorate.

Messina won’t be running the campaign to avoid exiting the EU, but he will be “heavily involved.” Messina worked extensively for the U.K. Conservative Party in the run-up to and during the 2015 general election.

Messina went head to head with his old colleague and fellow Obama devotee David Axelrod, who had accepted a position advising the Labour Party, which was then led by Ed Miliband.

The Conservatives won a surprise victory and Labour went down in flames to one of the worst election results in the party’s history.

A defeated Axelrod congratulated his rival on Twitter and complained about the inaccuracies of the polls that had shown the Conservatives and Labour in a dead heat right up until election night.

Messina played a more hands-on role in getting the Conservatives re-elected while Axelrod mostly gave advice over the phone and only visited the U.K. half a dozen times.

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