Messina: ‘Fixer’ to Fix it

By Beacon Staff

Not long after President Barack Obama took office, the Washington Post profiled his Deputy Chief Staff Jim Messina – referring to him as Obama’s “fixer.” The profile was fairly glowing of the University of Montana graduate and former aide to Sen. Max Baucus.

Now, fast-forward a little more than a year and the headlines are quite different. Messina is at the center of White House controversy in which the administration apparently encouraged a potential Senate candidate to apply for an international development job instead of running in a primary against the president’s preferred choice.

In a POLITICO piece Thursday, titled “W.H.’s Mr. Fixit has own mess to fix,” Josh Gerstein writes:

Jim Messina is usually the one who has to clean up a mess at the Obama White House, not the one who makes it.

But the disclosure this week that Messina, a deputy White House chief of staff, presented three government job opportunities to try to convince a potential Senate candidate to drop a Democratic primary challenge in Colorado is fueling a Republican effort to tarnish President Barack Obama’s image as a political reformer.

Messina now finds his own actions at the center of a public ethics controversy. It’s a rare and uncomfortable position for someone who maintains a low profile but has a reputation for executing the difficult assignments given to him by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, including cleaning up after the biggest public relations embarrassments of Obama’s first year in office.

Read the entire story here.