Monday, March 16, 2015

No failure to communicate

We may be 20 months away from electing a new President but that doesn't mean prospective candidates' every move won't be closely scrutinized.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's political action committee has hired prominent Republican strategist Liz Mair to lead online communication efforts, CNN Politics has learned, taking yet another step toward building a team for what is expected to become a presidential campaign later this year.

Mair's political consulting firm will advise on social media and blogger outreach for Walker's PAC, Our American Revival, by providing input on digital strategy and messaging, Mair told CNN on Monday. She'll be joined by associates Brittany Cover and Dan Blum.

The announcement is part of a hiring spree for Walker, who's presidential campaign-in-waiting has brought on veteran strategist Rick Wiley as campaign manager and signed up former Mitt Romney strategists Danny O'Driscoll and Wells Griffith. Walker has also lined up influential activists in early-voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.

I'm somewhat familiar with Mair, specifically her work on the ill fated Rick Perry presidential campaign in 2011-2012 (I followed Ms. Mair on Twitter for a couple of years but her penchant for profanity got to be too much for me, so I un-followed).

Some conservatives also caught wind of this hire and were more than a bit dismayed. Apparently Mair is "pro-amnesty" as well supports same-sex marriage. This set off a few social cons, many of whom expressed dismay that Walker himself must have a similar ideology, or else why would he hire someone with Mair's views? Well last time I checked, a "communications specialist" does not set the agenda for a prospective presidential candidate, rather he/she communicates said candidate's already predetermined message.

As I alluded to earlier, Mair was on the Rick Perry for President staff 3-4 years ago. Perry himself believed marriage should be between one woman and one man, views diametrically opposed to Mair's. So it seems to me Ms. Mair had no issue taking direction from a fellow Republican whose ideology differed from hers.

Besides, the Walker gubernatorial campaign had utilized Mair previously.

Mair has a history with Walker's election machine: She led his online communication strategy during his recall election in 2012, when Democrats waged an aggressive, yet unsuccessful effort to remove Walker from office after he curbed the power of public sector unions in Wisconsin.

And for the record, it would appear Walker's stance on same-sex marriage as well as amnesty differs from Mair's views. Apparently Ms. Mair isn't in a twist over it given she not only worked on Walker's successful 2012 recall election but also agreed to join his current PAC.

If anything, this hire might help Walker's presidential prospects in that it shows all stripes of Republicans are welcome to work on his presidential campaign. After all, it's going to take more than a conservative electorate for Walker (or any Republican for that matter) to win in 2016. And whatever message Gov. Walker has to convey to voters, I'm confident Ms. Mair et al will communicate it exactly the way he intends.


No comments: