1. Jim Messina was born in Denver, Colo., and raised in Boise, Idaho.
2. Messina's interest in politics was sparked in 1980 when, as a fourth grader, he volunteered to represent Jimmy Carter in a class mock election and lost to the Reagan representative.
3. In 1993, as a college senior, Messina managed Democrat Dan Kemmis's successful re-election bid for Missoula, Mont., mayor.
4. Messina graduated from the University of Montana in 1993 with a degree in political science.
5. In 1995, Messina went to work for Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. Messina and Baucus describe their relationship as father-son-like.
6. Messina became chief of staff to Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York in 1999.
7. He left McCarthy's office to run Baucus's 2002 re-election campaign. Under Messina's direction, the campaign released a devastating attack ad that implied Baucus's opponent, Republican state Sen. Mike Taylor, was gay. Taylor dropped out of the race soon after the ad was released.
8. Messina became Baucus's chief of staff in 2005 after serving the same role for then Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. Messina worked closely with Baucus to stop the Bush administration's plan to privatize Social Security.
9. Messina served as the Obama campaign's chief of staff during the 2008 presidential election.
10. After the election, Messina became President Obama's deputy chief of staff and earned the nickname "the fixer" inside Washington circles for his political ties. He left the post in 2011 to run the president's Chicago-based re-election campaign.