Obama campaign manager Messina to earn Machiavelli award

President Obama's reelection campaign manager is set to receive the "Machiavelli Award," an honor granted by the Italian American Democratic Leadership Council, at an event Sunday afternoon.

The group, which is co-chaired by former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and former Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), among others, will convey the honor to Jim Messina at a dinner at a Washington, D.C., Italian restaurant.

According to a press release obtained by The Washington Post, the council says the “award honors the legacy of Niccolo Machiavelli, the first political scientist, and showcases a current political mastermind.”

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Of course, Machiavelli's name has now come to represent cunning or scheming politics that can occasionally tread into the unscrupulous. The Italian theorist's best-known book, The Prince, details how leaders must occasionally employ brute force and deception to stabilize power.

Messina appears to be an active member of the group, with pictures on the council's website showing the president's campaign manager at the group's reception during the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.