The PJ Tatler

New Obama Surrogate: Bain is So Bad that I Hired Bain Execs, and I Liked It

Having exhausted his campaign’s major league surrogates — many of whom criticized attacks on Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital — President Obama had to reach into the party’s minor leagues for a new pitchman this week. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed got the nod, and appeared on Meet the Press Sunday morning to renew the pain on Bain.

GREGORY: Do you have a problem with going after Bain Capital where surrogates have not stuck to the script, notably President Clinton who is talking about a sterling business record for Governor Romney.

REED: I don’t have a problem at all. I have been amazed by it. the fact of the matter is we know about bain capital because of senator ted kennedy. he was locked in a race in 1994 on his first forainto politics. Ted Kennedy ended up beating the bark off of him and the centerpiece of his assault was Bain. This has been used in gubernatorial elections and the Republican primary.

But Mayor Reed is probably not the best person to attack Bain. Atlanta Progressive News reports that as mayor, Reed has hired a pair of former Bain executives. Reed also specifically touted their Bain work when he hired them.

However, Reed neither disclosed nor explained why, if he thought Bain Capital was so horrible, he hired two high-level employees–former Chief Operating Officer (COO) Peter Aman and current Deputy Chief Operating Officer Hans Utz–immediately after the two had been working at Bain.

Aman, a Partner at Bain & Company, took a two-year leave of absence from Bain, in order to work as COO, which is essentially a Deputy Mayor position, under Mayor Reed, from the beginning of 2010 to the end of 2011.

When Reed announced his intention to hire Aman, shortly after being elected in November 2009, he spoke positively about Aman and Bain in a public post on his Facebook page.

“Mr. Aman is currently a Partner at the global business consulting firm Bain & Company, where he has helped transform and turnaround dozens of large and complex multinational media and industrial companies.  He has also held several leadership roles in Bain’s Atlanta office, including those in the areas of recruiting, staff allocation and professional development, facilities and information technology operation, risk management and professional standards,” Reed wrote at the time.

Reed also hired Hans Utz, a former consultant at Bain, to work first as a contractor for the Office of Code Enforcement, and then, in January 2012, as Deputy COO.

In addition, last year, Reed pushed a Bain-style pension reform proposal which included a hard freeze on pension benefits for current employees, so that only accrued benefits were left in place, during the pension compromise debate of 2011.

David Axelrod is going to have to spend more time getting heckled on the campaign trail.