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.

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.