Smith: All the good candidates are comfortable in their own skin. Now, to go back to the premise of your question, I think what we should be looking for is I'm not breaking any news here by saying that the leadership in Washington right now is a bit on the older side we should be elevating young candidates, elevating millennial candidates in their 30s and 40s. I romanticize it. The first time people saw Pete, it was the same as the reaction I had when I first met him, which is where the hell has this guy been my entire life?. [2] Smith previously worked on campaigns for former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D. and this amazing panel for a great conversation about campaign journalism! In what ways does your brand benefit from Petes, and in what ways does Petes brand benefit from yours? What is this new phase of your career about? I am humbled and flattered and appreciative of when people recognize the hard work I put in on our media strategy, and the fact that we employed a media strategy that was radically different from everyone else in the field. This is so funny, because I was just saying to Mike Schmuhl, Pete's 2020 campaign manager and now chairman of the Indiana Democrats, that my dream project would be to take off an entire year and go to the big Democratic fundraising dinner in all 50 states. Smith: Im not going to touch that with a 10-foot pole. 90 minutes with one of Americas top political consultants. It may look like the sky is falling, but just ride this out.. And so my advice would just be, get out there more, especially with Kamala, go out there more. But until they released him from the NDA, we just didnt get his clients. Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. I know youre asking it in good faith, but I am declining to answer it in good faith. The guy didnt have time to say hello before Smith could hear screaming over the line. Smith previously worked on campaigns for former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D. But it is kind of fascinating to watch., Smith met Buttigieg on the recommendation of Axelrod and former Maryland Governor Martin OMalley. Bill de Blasio, too. Policy: Christopher Nelson Caitlin Styrsky Molly Byrne Jimmy McAllister Samuel Postell Jeff Smith, her former boyfriend, recalls one time when he was running for office, his campaign managers phone rang. Lis Smith, may find her job in . Smith starts texting me, wanting to know if Id seen the celebrities in the audience, including George Takei, Kal Penn and Kate McKinnon. @lynnsweet, @kaitlancollins, @Lis_Smith and @PriscillaWT discuss! Lis has absolutely no fear, said Jeff Smith, a former Missouri lawmaker who dated Smith for four years and considers her one of his closest friends. Going back to when the 2020 campaign went virtual, how do you think the Biden team has handled its messaging since then? The list below shows notable staff departures found in media reports. Some are even in the White House, like Deputy Press Secretary Chris Meagher, who briefed the press not too long ago. Please email us at Smith: You never say never. How has it turned out so far? Except then it didnt. He was going up against George Bush, who had $50 million and he had $4 million, and so he just decides to tear up the playbook and put himself out there. Adam Wren: In the beginning, you scored the contract for this book based on your high-profile turn as a senior communications adviser to Pete Buttigieg. Not to be cheesy, but it is one of my proudest accomplishments. She's taken gambles on underdogs like Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, advised establishment stalwarts such as former Virginia Gov. Chill., Lis, I guess you could say, comes from a very different world than Northern Indiana., Lis Smith bursts through the doors of a marbled hotel bar in Brooklyn wearing oversized Anna Wintour sunglasses, a faux-fur-lined coat and impossibly thin and tall high heels. Acting. Wren: Youve worked in a lot of red states South Dakota, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio. Days after Pete Buttigieg officially launched his presidential campaign in mid-April, his senior adviser on communications, Lis Smith, found herself in the bathroom of her Manhattan apartment . She has extensive experience in public affairs, media relations, and crisis communications at the local, state and national levels. You can unsubscribe at any time and you can contact us here. But another thing is that Im not someone whos just worked in New York. I think I am impressive because I am a violinist and I went to Dartmouth and I speak French and have traveled all over the world and, I dont know, I know a lot about great apes, she says. Can I tell you something very off the record, she texts. 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She was a field representative in South Dakota for then-Sen. Tom Daschle's unsuccessful re-election campaign in 2004 and press secretary for Sen. Claire McCaskill's (D-Mo.) After his loss in the primary, Smith went to work on the winning election campaign and then the transition of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. I love him. I think now more than ever, people need to understand how the media works. In 2016 she was deputy campaign manager for Martin O'Malley, the Democratic governor of Maryland who ran for the White House. "Joe Biden has had one of the most successful first two years of any president in recent history," Smith said. He announced he was running for the Democratic presidential nomination on January 23, 2019, and formally kicked off his campaign on April 14, 2019. I think hes a really good person. He adds, "The goal is to assemble a team of top talent that can work together effectively to mobilize resources, boost the candidate and his or her message, and ultimately secure the party's nomination. It has been my passion since I was nine years old, which sounds sick. Lis Smith is recording this call. I would give Pete 95 percent of the credit and give me five percent of the credit. When I stood up and left the table, Buttigieg stayed, and I recognized a woman sitting at the bar. We are humble and kind, to quote Tim McGraw. But I love politics because it touches everything in our lives. I remember in Iowa, we had all these young mayors for him. Lis knew that she had to build wide to build up, said Stephanie Cutter, who also worked on Obamas 2012 effort. That means that shes held to a different standard than sometimes other candidates. Ballotpedia features 408,464 encyclopedic articles written and curated by our professional staff of editors, writers, and researchers. John Edwards comes to mind. Lis Smith is a Democratic campaign communications specialist and co-founder of 50 State Communications in New York. It is 5:15 on a Monday evening. External Relations: Moira Delaney Hannah Nelson Caroline Presnell And yet you signed on anyway. There is only so much you can do to bare your soul over a beer, but hopefully people get to know you on some level and more than they would one gaggle at a time. Maybe theres still time for me to choose a new life path because I felt extremely disillusioned. And so much of my book is about the power of belief and the element of belief that it takes to succeed in professional football, in politics, and hes the one who brought that belief back for me, and brought my love my pure love of politics back for me. Traveling Press Secretary at Lunsford-Stumbo 2007 from February 2007 to . "He has been dismissed and discounted at every turn, and still overperformed expectations. And it was a running joke between us: I was like, I cant listen to you talk about smart sewers one more time, or I will lose my mind. He loves that stuff. Smith marched him to the front of where the national and New York press were gathered, telling him, Are you ready for your first gaggle? He stayed until the matter was exhausted. But its not just about the 18-year-old girl. Schmuhl, his campaign manager, says a typical scene from the trail for the three of them is arriving 10 or 15 minutes early to the airport gate, and while he and Buttegiegwho hes known since 8th grade in Indianatake a moment to relax for a minute before boarding, Smith will head to the airport bar with her laptop and phone and begins texting and emailing reporters and clapping back to critics on social media. She was the deputy campaign director for Martin O'Malley's 2016 presidential campaign. We are at the risk for seeing abortion rights eroded in more and more states. Its sad, but our politics isnt built to deal with people who are reasonable. Smith managed communications for de Blasio throughout the campaign and in his transition to office; she was slated to do the same when de Blasio took office. . }. Smith, the campaign's senior communications adviser, has proven to be a political star in. (The rapid-response job, Smith says, was for her like being a pig in shit. Smith also. What do I get if I pay for your consulting services? Smith: One of the reasons I wanted to write this book was because when I was thinking at 19 or 20 about getting into this world, [a book like this] didnt exist. Wren: Youre a very competitive person. . She had served as a senior aide on OMalleys 2016 bid and with the Maryland governor when he was head of the Democratic Governors Association. Theres the article in the Atlantic where the writer met the mayor of South Bend, Indiana for a chicken tempura lunch in Manhattan. The whole saga also taught her the rhythms of the New York tabloids, which have similarities to the national political press. [8] On the de Blasio campaign, Smith worked with campaign manager Bill Hyers, the campaign manager for Martin O'Malley's 2016 presidential campaign. And that was our media strategy. Shes had some very forceful moments as vice president. Wren: I want a window into how you advise candidates amid a crisis. Smith: It made me want to be better at my job. By clicking Sign up, you agree to receive marketing emails from Insider . The White House Correspondents Dinner is shrinking back to the boring awards ceremony journalists claimed to prefer. The private Terry is a lot more low-key, and lot more humble, a lot more thoughtful. Visit Presidential election key staffers, 2020, to see our coverage of staff on other campaigns. [The vice presidency] is probably the toughest, most thankless job in Washington D.C. The most important thing is theres no one way to be a Democrat no matter what any of these lefty groups in Washington say, and we cannot expect candidates in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Ohio and Arizona and North Carolina to check off every box on the progressive party purity test. Rather than going after Pete, Harris trained her fire on Biden.. [7] When Spitzer lost the primary election, she was hired on the communications team for Bill de Blasio's New York City mayoral campaign. There were very, very few women in positions of power. Hes going to sound so elitist. Or: Why does he have to answer every question with a proverb? Voters can smell when candidates are being authentic, and when candidates are not. Jason Bergman for POLITICO. Otherwise, I would kill myself. Which is to say that Buttigieg may know seven languages and carry around Ulysses and sit in with the South Bend Orchestra on piano, but as far as his top aide is concerned, it is only because he has an extra year on her. It was younger reporters, super-hungry reporters that really know how to use Twitter, people who can then go to a cocktail party and tell their friends they had a beer with this guy Pete Buttigieg three hours from now. Wren: One of your legacies is the coaching tree, to use an apt football metaphor, that you left behind on the Pete campaign. He did. You get a sense of the news, what is going to get picked up, she said, reaching into her bag for her copy of the Post, which she said she was saving for Buttigieg. It gives me so much joy when I sit down for a Zoom with Mallory McMorrow which is supposed to be 15 minutes and it turns into two hours, and I get goosebumps again. So what I try to do is to meet candidates where they are, and to help work with them on what their strengths are and not to erase the things in them that are quirky or not, but see if we can use them as assets. And there was not a better antidote to Trump than Pete in terms of style, in terms of life experience, and in terms of his worldview. I wasnt born yesterday. Smith went to Dartmouth. Buttigieg reignited Smiths love for politics, she says, after a really difficult 2015 and 2016 due to her breakup with former New York Gov. Smith: Are we talking about the same Pete Buttigieg? } And it makes it especially difficult for challengers. In 2018, she served as the political press coordinator for Pete Buttigieg's campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Smith now works as the deputy campaign manager for former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley in his campaign for the 2016 election. Its that everyday when I go into work to try and get these people elected its because it will impact lives. If you read through the many, many profiles written of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg in the past several months, its hard not to notice just how many reporters happen to have had personal encounters with the candidate, often months before he was in the headlines. In some ways, he came across as a Midwestern dad before he was, in fact, a Midwestern dad. As voters look for someone who can beat Trump, the fact that the press corps appears to vouch for this curious character, a young liberal red-state mayor, means that voters can give him a second look too. Why do I fucking love John McCain? My advice is just go out there more, communicate more. Oh really, you didnt know that? This page contains a select list of Pete Buttigieg's national campaign staff and primary state directors. ), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo. Wren: Based on how you characterized the vice presidency, would you ever counsel the transportation secretary, regardless of what year it is, against taking the vice presidency? Pete was completely different. We just had the Supreme Court decision on abortion. | James Devaney/GC Images. I want people to know what its like behind the scenes. You never get in a fight with someone whos trying to promote a book. [12], O'Malley suspended his presidential campaign on February 1, 2016.[13]. Because he was a badass. Pete Buttigieg's 38-year-old ex-campaign manager and childhood pal is telling Democrats how they can win back rural America . She doesnt give a fuck. Stay up to date with what you want to know. In my book, I sort of get at this, but we are sort of an odd couple. Smith has been studying the effort, reaching out to reporters who were there, and has been in regular contact with John Weaver, who helped engineer it. Adam Wren is national politics correspondent at POLITICO. Smith: Dont make me praise Chris Meagher. She most recently worked as a senior advisor in communications to presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. I figured he was special and it couldnt hurt if everybody knows who he is.. Andrew Cuomo and former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. And what Pete understood, and why I believed in him, was that to beat Trump, we didnt need to be him. as well as other partner offers and accept our. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Maybe a story that would be 80-20 bad you can get down to 60-40 bad, and that little bit is worth it.. At the newsstand around the corner, you could buy a New York magazine with Buttigiegs beatifically smiling face splashed across the cover, and a New York Times with an A1 story about his time at Harvard. Well, of course someone running for president would need to talk about it with me first, right? I dont know if that delegate from Oklahoma is going be reading the profile, but a lot of people are, and they should get to know Pete Buttigieg, she says. Let Pete be Pete. Because he completely disrupts the idea of what a successful younger politician is. She signed on as a consultant when he was laying the groundwork for a long-shot campaign to become the chair of the Democratic National Committee. It wasnt just the biggest names, people you know, Smith says. Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images. We tend to think of younger politicians as either captive to the very far left or the very far right, but there is a whole crop of younger elected officials across the country that aren't on the extreme, and that can relate to the majority of voters. Political Hotshot Lis Smith Talks Women in Politics, Democrats' Future and the Secret to Buttigieg's Success. Meet the DNC dark horse: Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg is shaking up the race for Democratic chair, added Salon. That cut both ways during the campaign for Buttigieg, particularly when a white police officer killed a Black man in South Bend. George Bush had Karl Rove; Bill Clinton had James Carville. Click here. She was my girlfriend., Later, says Smith, when he was a state lawmaker, I would say to her, I am going to talk to such-and-such group, and she would tell me, This is what you should say. And I would say to her, Lis, I am not going to say that, its not my style, its not going to work. Running for politics theres got to be a little element of narcissism or whatever you want to call it in you. It also includes each staff member's position in the campaign, previous work experience, and Twitter handle, where available. Operations: Meghann Olshefski Mandy Morris Kelly Rindfleisch I know of one person in particular who said you were making a catastrophic career mistake working for a total nobody. What else was the oppo they were dropping? They also build organizations in individual states that are overseen by state directors and staffed by party activists and political professionals well-versed in the particular politics of the area. Im realistic here. Since a lot of your book is about relationships in politics, could you start out by telling me about the time you met Bill de Blasio when you were volunteering for the John Edwards 2004 presidential campaign in New Hampshire? order out of chaos latin dollar bill, southern heritage funeral home, sunshine ecommerce technologies llc,

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