Consultants Uber Alles

On days when I think the very worst of Politico, I’d still be stunned by this kind of headline: “Messina trounces Axelrod in British elections.”

Yeah, that’s the ticket: let’s take an incredibly complex election in another fairly large country with its own issues, political parties, and yes, political professionals and turn it into a personal feud between two former Obama campaign colleagues!

I don’t know about you, but I had sort of forgotten about Jim Messina becoming one of dozens, maybe hundreds, of “advisers” to David Cameron. Seriously: just the other day I asked my wife his name, because I couldn’t remember it and hadn’t seen it in any British analysis of the British elections. It’s not like the Brits don’t like to talk about Powers Behind the Throne: there’s tons of press about Australian consultant Lynton Crosby being the “wizard from Oz” devising Tory strategy.

But no: for Politico, and for Morning Joe, which featured Messina this morning, every sparrow that falls to the ground must have some greater meaning in the all-important struggle for money and preeminence among political professionals here. And people wonder why so much of the world doesn’t trust Americans, and why Americans don’t like politics.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.