Welcome to Axelrod versus Crosby
The Guardian front page with news of Labour's appointment of Axelrod to advise on party's GE2015 campaign pic.twitter.com/NLeJSbT9vb
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) April 18, 2014
How much can Ed’s new hire bring that’s relevant to the UK?
There’s no doubt that the overnight news on Labour’s Axelrod appointment will cheer the party faithful but I just wonder what Axelrod will be able to bring.
Axelrod’s great strength is that he’s good at messaging but he’ll be without the central communication tool – paid for TV ads – that he’s used to. Also big data, so beloved by everyone, is simply not available here on the same scale as in the US.
But there’s no doubt he’s a hugely impressive operator who was crucial to Obama becoming president and retaining it four years later. He certainly should have it within him to adapt quickly and make a key contribution.
My guess is that his big contribution will be to steady Labour’s nerves and come up with the right strategy when it gets really personal against Ed. Axelrod has plenty of experience of doing that and turning it.
Whatever GE2015 just got a bit more interesting.