Morning Business: Chicago Bound

Posted June 16, 2008 at 6:33pm

Jim Messina, longtime chief of staff to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), is packing his bags and heading to the Windy City, where he will become chief of staff for Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) presidential campaign.

[IMGCAP(1)]He will work in tandem with campaign manager David Plouffe in executing the day-to-day campaign strategy.

Messina is not only well-versed in the ways of Washington and has strong ties to Capitol Hill, but he also has experience helping a Democrat win in a culturally conservative Western state, similar to territory the Obama campaign is targeting.

Messina, 38, managed Baucus’ 1996 and 2002 re-election campaigns. He also did stints as chief of staff to Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) before becoming Baucus’ top aide in 2005.

The Obama campaign announced Messina and several other new hires on Monday.

Other senior hires include Stephanie Cutter as a senior adviser to Obama and chief of staff to Obama’s wife, Michelle. Cutter, formerly a spokeswoman for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), was communications director for the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

Patti Solis Doyle, a former campaign manager for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), is also joining the campaign as chief of staff to Obama’s eventual running mate.