Wednesday, September 03, 2008

16 P.R. People for McCain Campaign,

Still No Cogent Message

Okay, call me Mr. Naive for thinking that a modern presidential campaign, with 16 staffers running the communications department, ought to be able to answer a few hard questions about Gov. Sarah Palin's foreign expertise that qualifies her to be Veep, maybe even Commander-in-Chief.

CNN's Campbell Brown on Monday tried prying some answers out of McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds, but as anyone who's watched the tape of that interview knows, Bounds couldn't address the simple matter of Palin's alleged accomplishments, especially on international issues, that would make someone vote for the GOP ticket.

But Monday is, in terms of news cycles, ancient history. That was two days ago and still the 16 people in McCain's public relations shop haven't issued a detail rebuttal, with lots of evidence, to CNN's Brown and her millions of viewers. Fear is what strikes at my heart when I think this P.R. team might someday run the White House communications office.

What do these 16 people do all day and should they start informing the American voter about Palin's supposed credentials to sit in the Oval Office, if the White Haired Dude keels over, should a miracle happen and the GOP retains control of the White House? I must have missed the cogent message from these folks about why their ticket should win in November.

From the Democracy in Action project at George Washington University:


Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker
(reported Dec. 20, 2006 by Wally Edge of PoliticsNJ) Spokeswoman on Tom Kean Jr.'s 2006 U.S. Senate campaign in New Jersey. Degree in political science and history from the University of Oregon. From Salem, OR.

National Press Secretary Brooke Buchanan
Regional press secretary for the RNC, 2006. Department of State Global Operations Team at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, 2005. Nevada communications director for Bush-Cheney '04. President of UNLV College Republicans in 2003-04.

Deputy Communications Director and Research Director Brian Rogers
Research director on Victory 2006/Californians for Schwarzenegger in 2006. Previously research analyst at the RNC, 2003-05, and at the NRSC in the 2002 cycle. Graduate of Washington & Lee University.

Deputy Communications Director - Online Activities
Michael Goldfarb
(reported by The Weekly Standard on June 2, 2008) Taking a leave of absence from position as online editor of The Weekly Standard. Senior Press Officer at Freedom House, 2000-05. Prior to joining Freedom House, he worked as a reporter in Israel for United Press International and as a writer for, the Web site of Time magazine. B.A. in history from Princeton University.

Regional Communications Director Jeff Sadosky
Spokesman on Fred Thompson's campaign (started Aug. 17, 2007). Came to the campaign from his position as communications director of the Florida Republican Party. Press secretary to Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH). A regional press person for Bush-Cheney '04. Worked at TNSMI/Campaign Media Analysis Group from 2001-04. Graduate of James Madison University with a degree in international affairs.

Deputy Regional Communications Director Crystal Benton
Started on the campaign as NH press secretary. Communications director for the Reform Institute. Acting press secretary in Sen. McCain's Senate office. B.A. in journalism from Emerson College. From Pembroke, NH.

TV/Radio Andrea Saul
Previously at the RNC. Media director for the 2006 Conservative Political Action Conference.
TV/Radio Charlie Adams
Previously on Fred Thompson's campaign.

TV/Radio Booker Brittany Brammell
Santa Clara University graduate.

Rapid Response Tucker Bounds
Served as regional/travelling press secretary prior to the July 2007 restructuring. A regional press secretary at the RNC. Oregon communications director for Bush-Cheney '04.

Deputy Comms. Director/National Spokesperson for Vice Presidential Response Ben Porritt
(first reported by Mike Allen mid-Aug. 2008) Vice president at Outside Eyes. Press secretary to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Public affairs specialist in the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice. A spokesman for Bush-Cheney '04, then a spokeman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. M.B.A. from University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business, 2008. Undergraduate degree from Bradley University, 2002.

Senior Advisor
Nicole Wallace
(started May 1, 2008) Political analyst for CBS in New York. Communications director on Bush-Cheney '04 (announced May 30, 2003 [Nicole Devenish]). Came to the campaign after serving as special assistant to the President and director of media affairs at the White House, responsible for regional press strategy and outreach. Worked on the Florida recount. Communications director for the Florida State Technology Office in 2000. Press secretary to Gov. Jeb Bush in 1999. Worked for the California Republican Party and Dan Lungren's gubernatorial campaign in 1998, and for the Republican caucus in the California Assembly, 1997-98. Briefly a television reporter in California. Graduate of U.C. Berkeley and graduate school at Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Illinois.

Senior Advisor
Matt McDonald
(started in June 2008) MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management, 2008. Senior advisor on Californians for Schwarzenegger. Associate communications director at the White House, 2005-06. Director of rapid response on Bush-Cheney '04. B.A. in economics from Dartmouth College, 2000.

Senior Advisor
W. Taylor Griffin
(late June 2008) Senior vice president for communications at the Financial Services Forum; joined the Forum in Jan. 2006. Director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Public Affairs. Deputy communications director for surrogate and broadcast media on Bush-Cheney '04. Media coordinator and regional spokesman.White House Office of Media Affairs. Press staffer in Austin on the 2000 Bush campaign. Deputy press secretary for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Graduate of Appalachian State University. Native of Wilson, NC.

Speechwriting Matthew Scully
(started in April 2008) A senior speechwriter for President George W. Bush from July 1999 to Aug. 2004 (includes 18 months in the 2000 campaign). Author of Dominion: The Power of Man, The Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy (St. Martin's Press, 2002). Former literary editor of National Review.

Matt Burns will join the campaign after the Convention (first reported by Mike Allen mid-Aug. 2008)

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