Why Labour needs Matthew McGregor – Obama’s “Backroom Brit”

24th November, 2012 6:06 pm

There’s an interesting profile in the Times today of Matthew McGregor (Backroom Brit who ‘swung it for Obama’), which shows the huge part played by Labour member Matthew McGregor in Obama’s re-election. I know Matthew a little and I’m a huge fan of his work. If you look at most of the best online campaigning in British politics now (even after he’s been away for two years), you’ll probably find that he’s been involved in it somewhere.

On the Obama campaign, McGregor was responsible for the digital rapid response unit that attacked Mitt Romney relentlessly, ensuring that any statement by the Republican was picked over and rebutted, often within minutes or hours. My favourite example was this video which was posted soon after Romney’s infamous 47% speech leaked. It’s sheer campaigning brilliance.

But it’s clear that McGregor’s role on the campaign was one with a broad remit. The digital director of the Obama campaign Teddy Goff told the Times:

“Every video, everything we did on Twitter, every e-mail had his fingerprints on it.”

Clearly the Labour Party could do with someone with McGregor’s experience and skills. I’ve said before that a big beast might be needed to beef up Labour’s online output. Matthew McGregor could perhaps be that person. He’s close to General Secretary Iain McNicol, and also Jon Cruddas (whose Deputy Leadership campaign he ran back in 2007). The Times reports that McGregor will be having a curry with McNicol at Christmas (as well as, somewhat laughably, suggesting that he might work for the Tories). I’m planning to meet up with him too, and I hope that hope McNicol, Cruddas and others will be telling him the same thing I will be – the Labour Party needs you.

There aren’t many people in British politics who can do what McGregor has shown such an aptitude for. As senior Obama aide David Axelrod has said:

“When you talk about rapid response it has to be rapid, but it also has to be pointed. Matthew has got that edge to him.”

That’a an edge that Labour’s online campaigning could do with, but it doesn’t come cheap. The Obama campaign had 130 members of staff on their digital team. The Labour Party will obviously never get anywhere near that, but it needs to scale up from the small handful of talented but poorly resourced individuals who run the party’s online operation today.

Hiring McGregor would be a good place for Labour to start.

  • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

    If his work for Blue State Digital is anything to go by, Matthew would be a priceless asset for Labour.

    http://www.bluestatedigital.com/blog/entry/meet-bsd-questions-with-matthew-mcgregor/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=671176264 facebook-671176264

    I wonder if he’s in favour of Scottish independence?

  • Daniel Speight

    Didn’t you call for Alistair Campbell to be given this job Mark? Just asking;-)

  • Daniel Speight

    Didn’t you call for Alistair Campbell to be given this job Mark? Just asking;-)

  • markfergusonuk

    Why do you ask?

Latest

  • Featured News Murdoch reportedly “berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband”

    Murdoch reportedly “berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband”

    The Sun have never been fans of Ed Miliband. This was only exacerbated by his decision to attack Rupert Murdoch over phone hacking (leading indirectly to the closure of the News of the World), backing the Leveson inquiry, announcing plans to restrict media ownership and apologising for posing with a copy of The Sun. But it’s fair to say that The Sun never liked Miliband anyway, and after viciously turning on Labour during the 2010 election campaign (anyone remember Gordon […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour launch LGBT manifesto and promise to challenge prejudiced representations of LGBT people

    Labour launch LGBT manifesto and promise to challenge prejudiced representations of LGBT people

    Today Labour are launching their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) manifesto. In it they’ll promise if elected they’ll put prioritise access to mental health services for young people, particularly those bullied because or their sexuality or gender identity. As part of this launch Angela Eagle, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, has highlighted that nearly a quarter of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people, and half of young trans people, have attempted suicide. To deal with this, alongside focussing on […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The vital battle for the soul of the Co-operative movement

    The vital battle for the soul of the Co-operative movement

    While the rest of the Labour movement is trying with all its might to remove the Tories from power, there is a distracting but vital battle going on for the soul of the Co-operative movement and the existence of Labour’s sister party, the Co-op Party. We in the Labour movement have long had a partner in the Co-operative movement through the Co-operative Party. I’m proud to have been a member of both parties for over 20 years. Labour and the Co-op […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Miliband announces plans for emergency nursing recruitment drive as part of “NHS Rescue Plan”

    Miliband announces plans for emergency nursing recruitment drive as part of “NHS Rescue Plan”

    Ed Miliband is set to announce Labour’s “NHS Rescue Plan” – starting with an emergency recruitment drive designed to get another 1,000 nurses into training this year. Speaking to student nurses at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Labour leader will say that this 1,000 nurses is the first installment of the 20,000 nurses (and 8.000 doctors) the party would fund thanks to its “time to care” fund. Labour would – on the first day of a Miliband government – ask universities to […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured 5 things we learned from Miliband’s Evan Davis interview

    5 things we learned from Miliband’s Evan Davis interview

    Ed Miliband was the third leader to face an Evan Davis grilling tonight. Davis isn’t not as pugnacious as Jeremy Paxman, nor as dogged as Andrew Neill (who I’d like to see interview all of the party leaders), but he’s smart, well prepared and hammers home at points of potential weakness. He’s an incredibly tough interviewer – you’d have to be to do the Today Programme and Newsnight – and that was certainly the case for Miliband tonight, at least in the […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit