President Obama sought out the advice of a very interesting person in the wake of the shellacking of the 2010 elections: Matthew Dowd, the former chief strategist for George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.
As New York magazine reports, Obama met privately in the Oval Office with various people in November and December:
Some of the names have been reported: former Clinton chiefs of staff John Podesta and Leon Panetta; former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein; former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle and centrist jack-of-all-trades David Gergen; and, of course, Bill Clinton. But others have not. Longtime Clinton consigliere Vernon Jordan is one. And another, more surprising, is Matthew Dowd, who served as chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. (Dowd declined to confirm the meeting, but the White House did.)
Just add this to the very interesting arc of Dowd’s career. He started as a Democratic strategist in Texas, and then became a top Bush adviser. And then after heading up a campaign that attacked John Kerry as weak on defense, he later broke with Bush and supported Kerry’s positions in favor of Iraq withdrawal. And now he has advised Obama on how to turn things around post-shellacking.