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Jim Messina, Obama campaign manager, joins Charlie Crist's campaign

@MarcACaputo

Jim Messina, campaign manager for President Obama's 2012 reelection, has joined Charlie Crist's campaign for governor.

"RT to help me welcome @Messina2012 to the People's Team. Join us at http://charliecrist.com ," Crist said via Twitter on Monday night.

Shortly after that announcement, the campaign touted another big-hire from Obama's team: Teddy Goff, digital director for the president's reelection campaign, who oversaw its social media, web video and online advertising efforts. Goff has been hired along with his firm, Precision Strategies, which includes other top Obama advisors.

For Crist, the announcement serves multiple purposes: It underscores the close ties Crist has with Obama's political team, it quiets concerns from some Democrats doubting Crist's party bonafides and it softens the blow of the mysterious departure of Bill Hyers late last year, who quit before he officially became campaign manager.

Hyers declined to comment on the move, as did Crist.

Crist couldn't be reached nor could Messina, who's expected to act as more of a senior advisor instead of a campaign manager.

In a recent interview with The Miami Herald, Messina downplayed talk of becoming Crist's campaign manager. But he clearly expressed his support and admiration for Crist, a Republican turned independent turned Democrat.

"Gov. Crist was obviously very helpful to the 2012 re-elect. He did whatever we asked and was very helpful giving strategic advice,” Messina said.

“He gave a very important Democratic National Convention speech,” Messina said. “It framed the election in an important way. And he was very important to the fact that Barack Obama won Florida.”

Well before the 2012 elections, Messina and Crist met at an Orlando restaurant where, Messina said, Crist offered his unqualified support for President Obama's reelection effort.

Counting Messina and Goff, at least nine former campaign workers from Obama's 2008 or 2012 campaigns have signed up for Crist's campaign. Gov. Rick Scott's campaign announced last week that it was bulking up, naming spokeswoman Melissa Sellers as campaign manager and state Sen. John Thrasher as campaign chairman.

Crist leads Scott in the polls, but the Republican is walloping Crist in fundraising. Crist is posting solid fundraising numbers, and the news of Messina should help boost him further.

Crist is leading his main Democratic rival, former Weston state Sen. Nan Rich, by double digits in polls of their party's primary.

BeeCkmMCQAAkMNK-1The Republican Party of Florida's communications director, Susan Hepworth, tied Messina to Obamacare and PolitiFact's "Lie of the Year" in this statement: "As Charlie Crist tries desperately to cover up his failed record he will definitely need help from the ultimate spin doctor who sold the lie of the year that 'if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it.'" Hepworth also Tweeted out a pictures mocking the pick.

Judging by the laser focus on Crist -- and private conversations -- Scott's backers and Florida Republican operatives are worried about a Crist comeback. The addition of Messina could make them even more concerned.

But Obama's far less popular now than he was in 2012, and he's dragging down some Democrats in the polls as well.

Still, the Obama campaign was a cult of Obama. Without Obama, it's unclear how well this Florida iteration of his operation will fare.

We're going to find out.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/18/3825852/poll-charlie-crist-would-wallop.html#storylink=cpy

Comments

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ed jenkins

This snake oil salesman may have reached the end of his career by associating himself with Florida's reviled former governor, the scumbag crist. no amount of marketing will fool the residents of florida who were disgusted with the mess left by scumbag crist who was also rejected previously by the republican and independent parties while democrats never fell for him and voted for him in the past. Democrat primary voters such as this one demand a real candidate after nearly two decades of not winning a governor election, which may be the nancy lady mentioned though a lady would probably not be able to handle the job with the emotional swings of women and various other issues that come with them.

Pablo

Amazingly, the snake $cott's own pollster shows that $cott trails Crist in the polls and $cott's negatives outweigh his positives. After three years of his failed zenophobic ideological agenda, the citizens of Florida have had enough of medicare fraudster $cott. $cott is raising millions of dollars from secret out of state carpetbaggers to try and steal the election, but it won't work because the citizens of Florida are on to him. His other scheme is to prevent citizens from exercising their constitutional right to vote, which he tried in 2012 and failed. He will fail again in 2014.

skunk ape

Crist "will never know what hit him."

Unless he reads the newspaper.

What a bunch of morons.

D

Pablo the prick is still around mocking other posters I see. A three day weekend gave the immature prick a lot of time in mommy's basement to tell us all what he learned from karl marx. We don't need to here from some raft rider what we should be doing in our country, if you like the communists so much just go back to cuba or venezuela so you can live in your paradise.

tony smith

Save us from Scott. He has the brains of Sarah Palin and the looks of a rancid rotting toad.

Can't take anymore

Tony, as a fan of toads I greatly resent you insulting them by saying that Rick Scott looks like one. Even rancid rotting toads are far more appealing than Rick Scott. His photo will be used to frighten misbehaving children for several more generations.

D

What are you two a couple homos? What guy with any manhood talks about how another guy looks. You sound like a couple gossipy girls or homos.

Moderate

Guve em hell Charlie!

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