When Lon Johnson suddenly emerged in February to win election as the Michigan Democratic Party, some thought his wife, Julianna Smoot, the 2012 deputy campaign manager for President Obama, might emerge as the power behind the throne.
Not a chance. She’s way too busy.
In fact, for Smoot, it appears that the sky’s the limit in her rapid rise within the Democratic Party.
Politico reports that Smoot, considered a fundraiser extraordinaire, has landed two key positions within the party apparatus: with the new Organizing for Action nonprofit group led by former top Obama aides, and with the Senate Majority PAC, the Democratic super PAC tied to Majority Leader Harry Reid.
In addition to serving on the OFA board and Senate Majority PACs board for outreach and fundraising, she is also contemplating the formation of her own consulting firm.
In a story that was posted over the weekend, Politico offered up some glowing tributes to Smoot as she transitions into her two new jobs.
Penny Pritzker, who worked closely with Smoot in the early days of the 2008 Obama campaign and is now considered the front-runner to be Obama’s next Commerce Secretary nominee, described Smoot as a “talent magnet” and an “incredible force.” “Julianna is an accomplished manager, leader and effective team player. Her knowledge base is broad and deep which makes her an asset to any organization with which she is involved,” Pritzker told Politico.
Jon Carson, executive director of OFA, said Smoot’s network, which goes far beyond donors, will be invaluable to the new Democratic group. Smoot was White House social secretary during Obama’s first term and “you really need to think of Julianna as much more than a fundraiser,” Carson said, describing Smoot as “a brilliant political mind.”
And here’s how the Republican competition views Smoot. Charlie Spies, co-founder of the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, who now serves as senior adviser to Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to protecting the Republican majority in the House, said: “Smoot has a great track record and I’m confident will be formidable at selling President Obama with her new fundraising entities.”