59 minutes | Jul 6, 2021

Jim Messina, from Montana to Obama

From a very early age, Jim Messina knew he wanted to manage a presidential campaign. And he made it happen as the manager for the 2012 Obama re-elect. In between, Jim ran campaigns at all levels across the country, served as Chief of Staff on Capitol Hill, and served as a White House aide helping pass much of the first-term Obama agenda. In this conversation, Jim talks growing up in a blue collar Mountain West family, his early activism against nuclear weapons, how he connected with eventual mentor Senator Max Baucus, and the lessons learned on his path to managing the campaign to re-elect President Obama.IN THIS EPISODE…The story of Jim “managing” his first campaign in 4th Grade…The book a young Jim read that turned him onto politics for good…Jim helps save the political career of the mayor of his college town…The impact of the “no Nuke” movement on Jim…Jim talks his relationship with his mentor Senator Max Baucus…The similar approach in the Baucus ’02 re-election and the Obama 2012 re-elect…Jim’s involvement in stopping the Bush ’05 Social Security Privatization plan…Jim talks why Republicans often have the strategic advantage on messaging…Jim’s theory as to why Montana creates so many talented political operatives…Jim’s best practices for working on Capitol Hill…The Republicans that have impressed Jim over the years…Jim waxes nostalgic about Prairie Populism…Jim talks about the greatest living Senate staffer…Why Jim almost passed on working for the Obama 2008 race…Voter file controversies in 2008…Jim tells great stories from helping put the Obama Cabinet together… Jim talks how President Obama wouldn’t let the ACA fail…The “shrewdest political operator” Jim has ever seen…Jim’s conversations with President Obama before taking the helm of the 2012 re-elect…What surprised Jim about running a presidential campaign…Jim talks inflection points in the 2012 presidential campaign…Why Jim was confident Biden wouldn’t have major gaffes in 2020…Jim's approach to starting The Messina Group after 2012… AND…21 Rules, Yohannes Abraham, actual mullets, Al D’Amato, David Axelrod, Baucus Burger Bonanzas, the Beast, Steve Bullock, Andy Card, Jimmy Carter, Tara Corrigan, Jim Crounse, Tom Daschle, Byron Dorgan, John Elway, Rahm Emanuel, FABIO, Tim Geithner, Girl in Red, Newt Gingrich, half-gin/half-tonic, Dave Hunter, Jesse Jackson, Liz Jarvis-Shean, Peter King, Celinda Lake, Trent Lott, Mike Mansfield, Ty Matsdorf, Carolyn McCarthy, midnight calls from Bill Clinton, Olivia Morgan, Patty Murray, Jen O’Malley, Alyssa Mastromonaco, Nancy Pelosi. David Plouffe, Prairie Populists, Marc Racicot, Harry Reid, Mitt Romney, Pete Rouse, Eric Schmidt, Stephanie Schriock, Nate Silver, Julianna Smoot, Steven Spielberg, Gail Stoltz, Taylor Swift, Larry Summers, Jon Tester, Three Mile Island, walking across Montana, Pat Williams, Anna Wintour, and MORE!
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