By Claire West
David Axelrod the strategist who masterminded Barack Obama’s back-to-back presidential victories in 2008 and 2012 has agreed to work with Labour to get Ed Miliband elected as Prime Minister in 2015.
His new role is the culmination of several months’ effort led by Douglas Alexander, Labour’s Chair of General Election Strategy, to secure the services of Mr Axelrod and the firm, AKPD, until the general election in May next year.
Mr Axelrod will become an integral part of Labour’s team, working closely with Mr Alexander, Spencer Livermore, the Campaign Director, and Stan Greenberg, the Party’s senior pollster. He will also participate in regular strategic discussions with Mr Miliband and the Labour campaign team.
The former Senior Adviser in President Obama’s White House will arrive on May 14 in London for two days of strategy meetings with Mr Miliband, Harriet Harman, and other senior Shadow Cabinet members.
Senior figures in AKPD, including veterans from the Obama for America campaign Larry Grisolano and Mike Donilon, will further strengthen Labour’s campaign with their expertise.
They will join Mr Axelrod for the strategy meetings in London next month and AKPD’s work for Labour is expected to increase in the first months of next year as the general election approaches.
David Axelrod said:
“I’ve had several conversations with Ed Miliband over the course of the last year in which I have been struck by the power of his ideas, the strength of his vision and the focus he brings to solving the fundamental challenge facing Britain.
“That challenge is how you create an economy which works for everyone: an economy in which every hardworking person can get ahead and deal with the cost-of-living crisis so they can plan for the future and plan for their children.
“He understands that a growing economy demands that you have to have broad prosperity. We can’t just have prosperity hoarded by a few where people at the top are getting wealthier and wealthier but people in the middle are getting squeezed.
“This is a problem not just for Britain but everywhere in advanced economies including here in the US. Ed Miliband has a real vision of where we need to go to solve those problems. He has answers to these questions which will be very potent in the next election.
“That is how we won in the US. Barack Obama articulated a vision which had, at its core, the experience of everyday people. And everyday people responded, they organised and they overcame the odds. I see the same thing happening in Britain.”
Ed Miliband MP Leader of the Labour Party said:
“David Axelrod is known across the world for helping get President Obama into the White House in 2008 and then win re-election in 2012. In his work for President Obama, David helped shape a campaign that reflected his vision, focused on building an economy that works for all hardworking people and not just a privileged few.
“It’s excellent news that David has agreed to help One Nation Labour win the next election and build our campaign to change Britain so hardworking people are better off. He will be a huge asset to our campaign as we work to show the British people how we can change our country for the better. ”
Douglas Alexander MP Labour’s Chair of General Election Strategy said:
“I am delighted to have been able to secure the services of David Axelrod and AKPD for Labour. My conversations with him over recent months have underlined how he has the skills, the strength and the values needed to make a huge contribution in the year ahead. This announcement is great news for Labour - and seriously bad news for the Conservatives.”