How will President Obama’s 2012 election campaign take shape when his re-election campaign manager, Jim Messina, has a history of alienating grassroots constituencies? The Nation’s Ari Berman joined MSNBC’s The Last Word to discuss his latest piece on Obama’s controversial move of appointing the former White House deputy chief of staff as his campaign manager.

Most troubling, Messina doesn’t see eye to eye with progressives on issues like healthcare or gay rights. “This is now the man who will be the top liaison to Obama supporters and would really need to gin them up for the 2012 campaign,” Berman says. “It really makes you wonder, is this going to be Obama ’08, a grassroots bottom up campaign, or is this going to be very much a top-down conventional centrist campaign?”

—Sara Jerving