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Joe Trippi

Joe Trippi (born June 10, 1956) is an American Democratic campaign worker and consultant. Trippi has worked on the presidential campaigns of Ted Kennedy, Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Dick Gephardt, Jerry Brown and John Edwards. He served as campaign manager for presidential candidate and former Vermont governor Howard Dean. He currently serves as a Fox News contributor.


  • Early career 1
  • Political campaigns 2
    • 1984 presidential campaign 2.1
    • Various campaigns, 1984-88 2.2
    • 1988 presidential campaign 2.3
    • 1992 presidential campaign 2.4
    • Various campaigns, 1992-2004 2.5
    • 2004 presidential campaign 2.6
    • Various campaigns, 2004-2008 2.7
  • Recent work 3
  • International work 4
  • Other work and advocacy 5
  • Personal life 6
  • Published work 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early career

Trippi began his career in the mid-1970s working on several local elections in San Jose, California,[1] before leaving college a few credits shy of graduation to join Ted Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1980.[2] Trippi served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s successful reelection bid in 1981 and again when Bradley ran for governor in 1982.[1][3][4] During Bradley’s gubernatorial campaign, Trippi installed one of the first in-house computers for a political campaign: the DEC-PDP11.[1][5] Trippi used it for fundraising and targeting.[6]

Example of the PDP-11 series
Example device using the PDP-11/40 model (pictured at bottom)

Political campaigns

1984 presidential campaign

Trippi remained in California to hold his first and only government position as Lieutenant Governor Leo McCarthy’s Deputy Chief of Staff,[4] before overseeing several successes in Vice President Walter Mondale’s 1984 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Starting with a come-from-behind victory at the Maine State Convention,[4] Trippi eventually managed operations as the state director in Iowa and Pennsylvania, where Mondale won by 30 and 14 points respectively.[7]

Various campaigns, 1984-88

Following the Mondale campaign, Trippi joined Senator Ted Kennedy’s PAC, the Fund for a Democratic Majority, as Deputy Director under Paul Tully. At the time, Bob Shrum was chairman of the committee, but he soon resigned to start the media firm Caddell, Doak and Shrum, taking Trippi with him to be Vice President of the firm.[8][9] During Trippi’s tenure at what became Doak and Shrum, the firm worked on several media campaigns for gubernatorial and senatorial candidates including those of Virginia Governor Jerry Baliles, Senator Alan Cranston of California, Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, and Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey.[10] Shrum has attributed Trippi with conceiving and producing the famous spot on Cranston’s campaign, “Zschau’s Greatest Hits”.[9]

1988 presidential campaign

External video
Gephart "Hyundai" TV Spot, YouTube video

In 1987, Trippi left Doak and Shrum to work on Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential bid with former colleague Paul Tully as deputy political director, later joining Dick Gephardt's team as deputy campaign manager after Hart withdrew from the race.[11] There, Trippi was instrumental in the creation of the "Hyundai" ad, a television spot which received praise for launching Gephardt from last place in the polls to winning the Iowa caucuses.[12][13]

1992 presidential campaign

During the 1992 election cycle, Trippi consulted on the Presidential campaigns of Governor Douglas Wilder of Virginia and Jerry Brown of California.[14] For Brown's campaign, Trippi and colleague Joe Costello orchestrated the first successful use of an 800 number in politics, raising $8 million by advertising the number on television and during debates.[1][15]

Various campaigns, 1992-2004

Throughout the rest of the 1990s, Trippi worked as a media consultant and producer for multiple successful congressional races, including Ron Wyden’s run for Oregon's Senate seat, Jim Moran's in Virginia’s 8th district, and Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky's in Pennsylvania’s 13th district, which had been held by a Republican for almost 90 years.[16][17][18]

In 2002, when five Democratic congressmen were redistricted into Republican majority districts and forced in contests against Republican incumbents,[19] Trippi worked as a strategist and media consultant for Congressman Tim Holden, the only one of the five to win.[20]

2004 presidential campaign

As national campaign manager for Vermont Governor [21] One of these methods included the blog entitled Blog for America where the campaign could communicate directly with supporters.[22] Another was DeanTV, an online steaming platform playing videos and clips from the campaign trail.[23] The campaign also developed technology for a social media site that enabled supporters to connect and campaign for Dean together.[24] Through this innovative use of the Internet for small-donor fundraising, “Dean for America” raised more money than any Democratic presidential campaign to that point – all with donations averaging less than $100.[22]

Various campaigns, 2004-2008

Trippi joined Jerry Brown again in 2006 serving as media consultant and strategist for his successful bid for California Attorney General.[25] During this cycle he also produced the media for John Hall’s winning campaign for New York’s 19th district congressional seat.[26] John Edwards hired Trippi in 2007 as his Senior Advisor for his 2008 presidential campaign.[27]

Recent work

In 2010, Trippi was a senior strategist and media consultant in Jerry Brown’s successful run for reelection as California Governor.[25] The Brown ads Trippi & Associates produced received four Pollie awards for excellence in political media and TIME magazine named one ad, “Echo,” the best ad of 2010.[28][29] Andrew Romanoff, who challenged the incumbent Senator Michael Bennet in the 2010 Colorado Senate election, announced his campaign had hired Trippi as one of its four new consultants.[30]

Trippi worked on a number of recent House victories for Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, Janice Hahn, Mark Takano, and Seth Moulton.[31] Moulton, a former Marine from Massachusetts, won in a shocking come-from-behind upset.[32] The campaign overcame millions in outside spending to beat 18-year incumbent John Tierney in the primary and Richard Tisei in the targeted general election.[33] In a recent article from the Boston Globe, Moulton recalls nationally-renowned pollster Mark Mellman telling him to quit the race because it would be “statistically impossible” to win.[34]

International work

Trippi has also worked on international political campaigns over the years. In 1993, Trippi worked for then-

  • Joe Trippi's official blog
  • Appearances on C-SPAN

External links

  • A NOW on PBS 2008 interview with Joe Trippi
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Published work

Trippi is a resident of the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Personal life

Trippi has consulted with a number of leading non-profits and corporations including the Humane Society of the United States, the American Cancer Society, Best Friends Animal Society,, Toyota, DaimlerChrysler, SES Americom, Corning, LabCorp, IBM, Lionsgate Films, BestBuy, and Wave Systems.[56]

Apart from campaign politics, Trippi has been involved in many other facets of the political world. He was named a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government,[51] and at the New Politics Institute, a Think Tank of the New Democratic Network.[52] He also serves on the advisory board to nonpartisan organization Why Tuesday? that encourages increased voter participation.[53] He founded the consultancies Trippi & Associates and Trippi International in 2004.[54] He has had roles on various cable and broadcast networks, previously as a contributor on MSNBC and a political analyst on CBS News, and currently as a contributor on Fox News.[55][56]

Other work and advocacy

Also in 2011, Trippi provided strategic support for the campaign of Goodluck Jonathan in the Nigerian presidential election.[50] It is said that, Trippi is currently working with Tanzania's main opposition party CHADEMA, to help Mr.Edward Lowassa rise into office after 2015 general election.

Beginning in October 2011, Trippi advised on the implementation of the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, which was tasked with looking into the incidents that occurred during the period of unrest in Bahrain in February and March 2011,[45][46] saying he "had no problem working for them" because they were "one of the progressive countries in the Middle Eastern Gulf."[47] The commission released a 500-page report which criticized security forces and provided various conclusions, observations, and recommendations to the government.[48] Trippi ended his work in Bahrain in April 2012.[49]

In January 2010, Michael Hastings reported that Joe Trippi was working in Iraq to help launch a secular moderate Shiite party: the Ahrar party headed by Iyad Jamal Al-Din.[43] A day later, Hasting also reported that 20 of Ahrar’s candidates had been struck from the ballot.[44]

Trippi was hired by the Libertas political party to work on their European Parliament election, 2009 campaign.[42]

In 2008, Trippi helped unity government and Tsvangarai becoming the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.[37] As part of the unity government, Tsvangirai designated Roy Bennett as Deputy Minister of Agriculture on February 10, 2009. But Mugabe refused to swear Bennett into office, and three days later Bennett was arrested and charged with treason.[38] Tsvangirai’s party reported that Bennett was being denied food in prison.[39] Trippi led an international campaign to put pressure on Mugabe to release Bennett,[40] and days after his release on March 12, Bennett thanked Trippi for his efforts.[41]

[36].Prime Minister of Italy on his winning race for Romano Prodi In 2006, he worked for [35] in 2005.Tony Blair British Prime Minister Trippi advised former [16]

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