Even before President Obama’s address Tuesday, observers were paying close attention to his efforts to “secure his legacy.” With limited time before he becomes a lame duck, the president used his State of the Union to proclaim 2014 a “year of action.” But whatever action Obama takes in the next 12 months, the reality is his legacy may be better served by those who worked on his two successful White House campaigns.
The operatives and consultants who bought into Obama’s promise to “change Washington” may feel a bit unfulfilled by where they are six years later. But long after he’s left the White House, they’re going to be solidifying their hold on the consulting world.
Their influence has already extended into 2016. Jeremy Bird, who co-founded 270 Strategies with fellow Obama alum Mitch Stewart, tells C&E: “Our firm is working with the Ready for Hillary folks.”
“Anybody who was affiliated with the campaign, I think there’s a tremendous amount of excitement for Secretary Clinton, if she were to run. We see it on the ground now,” he says.
If a consultant predicted in 2006 that Obama’s campaign hands would be the ones to teach Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign how to employ the most sophisticated voter targeting techniques, he’d be a laughing stock. But that’s proving to be the case.
C&E’s upcoming cover story, which will be available online this weekend, explains how these Obama operatives might change not just the consulting industry, but who gets elected from city hall to Capitol Hill to the White House.