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SAN FRANCISCO -- Uber, the private car ride company taking on taxi cabs, is getting a hired gun from the Beltway to help clear the way for its expansion across the country and the world.

Obama political strategist David Plouffe is joining Uber as its senior vice president of policy and strategy, Uber said Tuesday.

Plouffe, who ran President Obama's 2008 campaign, will try to win over consumers and regulators while running over white-knuckled resistance from the taxi cab lobby.

He will serve as the company's campaign manager.

Uber already hired Ashwini Chhabra, a former official with the Taxi and Limousine Commission in New York to run policy development and community engagement.

Uber lets consumers order up private rides through a smartphone app. It operates in more than 170 cities.

In June Uber raised $1.2 billion at a $17 billion valuation.

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