Uber Snags Former Obama Campaign Guru

David Plouffe will head the ride-sharing company’s policy team.

National Journal
Alex Brown
Aug. 19, 2014, 10:35 a.m.

Former Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion ad­viser Dav­id Plouffe, who headed the pres­id­ent’s 2008 cam­paign, is join­ing Uber to lead the com­pany’s policy and polit­ic­al ef­forts.

Plouffe, who left the White House in early 2013, said in a Tues­day com­pany an­nounce­ment that he “could not be more ex­cited to join such a vi­brant com­pany and its people who will be at the ab­so­lute lead­ing edge of to­mor­row’s in­nov­a­tions.”

The move comes just weeks after the Re­pub­lic­an Party made over­tures at the ride-shar­ing com­pany, email­ing a pe­ti­tion in sup­port of its mis­sion.

That email said the com­pany was be­ing choked by gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions backed by taxi uni­ons. Plouffe echoed that mes­sage, while ac­know­ledging the policy struggle between Uber and the taxi in­dustry.

“This con­tro­versy ex­ists be­cause we are in the middle of a polit­ic­al cam­paign and it turns out the can­did­ate is Uber,” he wrote on Uber’s blog. “Our op­pon­ent””the Big Taxi car­tel””has used dec­ades of polit­ic­al con­tri­bu­tions and in­flu­ence to re­strict com­pet­i­tion, re­duce choice for con­sumers, and put a strangle­hold on eco­nom­ic op­por­tun­ity for its drivers.”

Ac­cord­ing to Uber founder Trav­is Kalan­ick, Plouffe will head “glob­al policy and polit­ic­al activ­it­ies, com­mu­nic­a­tions, and Uber brand­ing ef­forts.”