What is your earliest political memory?
Without question, it was the flickering black and white TV images of the 1956 Democratic convention. I was intrigued by Adlai Stevenson but my father, a staunch Republican, quickly set me straight.
Who is your political hero?
Ronald Reagan. Producing an official documentary on him has been one of the highlights of my career. Government is the problem.
Who is the Democrat you admire most?
This was a tough question until I realized it doesn’t have to be an elected official. I have really enjoyed working with many Democratic consultants over the years and couldn’t name just one.
What is your best political story from the campaign trail?
My wife, Schuyler, is a Democrat. For many years we lived on Capitol Hill where I was the token Republican in my neighborhood. After two weeks out West on the campaign trail, I came home exhausted and got out of the taxi, only to find a yard sign for the opponent in my postage stamp front yard. It gets worse. When I opened the front door, I discovered that my wife was hosting a fundraiser for that very same candidate. It was not a good night.
What would you be doing professionally if you were not working in politics?
I’d be unemployed.
What is your biggest fear?
I have no skills in any language other than English so when I became the accidental president of the International Association of Political Consultants, all I could think about was having to introduce VIPs whose names I couldn’t pronounce.
What is your biggest regret?
Renting office space when I could have owned. It would have been fun to have bought a townhouse in D.C. and renovated it.
What is your most treasured possession?
I have a curio cabinet full of political memorabilia, but I would have to say my most treasured possession is my jet-black, four on the floor, 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk…120 MPH and no seatbelts.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Assuming that you don’t want me to say being married to the most lovely woman and raising two wonderful kids, blah, blah, blah … I would have to say it was singlehandedly getting George W. Bush elected in 2000. Okay, it was just a significant role, but without our ads in West Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas, Al Gore would have been elected president.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
Political entrepreneur…Oops, that won’t work. Politipreneur.
What is your favorite book?
Thunderstruck by Erik Larson.