David Axelrod, the mastermind behind US President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 election victories, is to advise Britain’s Labour Party in the run up to next year’s general election, the party announced Thursday.
He will work alongside shadow foreign secretary and election strategist Douglas Alexander until the vote, expected to take place in May 2015.
The party will also use Axelrod’s consultancy firm AKVD as it looks to regain power from the Conservative-led coalition following election defeat in 2010.
“Mr Axelrod will become an integral part of Labour’s team,” said a Labour statement.
“He will also participate in regular strategic discussions with (party leader) Mr Miliband and the Labour campaign team.”
The election strategist said he had been “struck by the power” of Ed Miliband’s ideas and by 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 added.
“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.”
Miliband called the appointment “excellent news”.
“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,” he said, insisting the American “will be a huge asset to our campaign”.
He will be pitted against the Tories’ Australian spin chief Lynton Crosby, widely credited for turning around the fortunes of the party, although it still trails Labour according to recent opinion polls.
[Image via NBC News]