Lamar Alexander
March 10, 1999
March 10, 1999  (up at 10 a.m on March 9, 1999) by Intellimedia Commerce of Atlanta, Georgia "specializes in utilizing ecommerce and email for managing customer interactions."  Intellimedia has done work for a host of corporate clients such as AirTran Airlines, Hennessy Land Rover, Manheim Auctions ("one-touch  wholesale used car buying nationwide"); its political work is less extensive: it did the site for Guy Millner's 1998 gubernatorial campaign in Georgia.  CEO and President Ben Dyer was inducted into the Georgia Technology Hall of Fame in 1998.

Lamar Alexander. May 1998. LAMAR ALEXANDER'S LITTLE PLAID BOOK. Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press. 
"311 rules, lessons, and reminders about running for office and making a difference whether it's for president of the United States or president of your senior class."

Strengths:  Experience as governor, education secretary.  Lined up key supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire early on.  Fundraising ability.  Moderate image.  Has been through a presidential campaign in 1996 so knows what to expect.

Weaknesses:  Relies too much on PR and catch phrases.  Has basically been running for president since 1993.  Viewed with suspicion by many conservatives, and conservatives have a strong voice in the nominating process.  Limited foreign policy experience.


Dec. 14                  In a press conference in Des Moines the morning after WHO-TV's "The Iowa Debate" Alexander endorses Gov. George W. Bush.
Aug. 16                  In Nashville Alexander announces the end of his campaign.
Aug. 14                  Iowa Republican Straw Poll at Ames.  Alexander finishes sixth.
July 7-Aug. 14      Iowa.  "Homecoming '99" bus tour designed to take Alexander into 60 counties over 23 days and to "celebrate the best in Iowa by highlight things in each community that are special or unique to that community."  The bus was actually an RV dubbed "Exceeding Expectations."  [Kochel later noted that this was an example of the Bush money drain; instead of using a fully equipped bus like Forbes, the campaign had to go out and borrow an RV].  The tour focused on rural counties ("Bob Dole country" …Gov. Branstad's stronghold).
June 3                    The campaign announces significant cutbacks due to fundraising difficulties.  A statement from campaign manager Tipps described the cuts as "a reorganization designed to reduce administrative overhead and increase the resources available for the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary Campaigns…  Specifically, the overall number of employees will be reduced from 38 to 34, with the Iowa staff growing from 7 members to 11."  Out as of July 1 are communications director Steve Schmidt, deputy communications director Jeff Macedo, and research director Brian Jones (all of whom worked on Matt Fong's 1998 Senate campaign in California) as well as chief counsel Katherine Phillips.
May 4                    Alexander holds his first major fundraiser of the campaign at the Opryland hotel in Nashville.  26 major fundraisers are scheduled to be held across the nation in the coming months.
March 23              "Major policy address" on national defense at Birmingham Kiwanis Club.

March 22              "Major policy address" on family issues at the Atlanta Rotary.
March 16              "Outlines his education agenda" at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND.
March 14              Begins running 2-minute weekly radio talks in Iowa.  Programs, each focusing on one issue, run every Sunday night around 8 pm on WHO and another radio station (which market depends on the message ex. WMT (Cedar Rapids), KASI (Ames)).  Kochel described these as "a weekly talk with Iowa voters" "harks back to Roosevelt."  Originally wanted to do longer talks, 5 minutes, but difficult to buy that length as doesn't fit in w/ stations' regular programming.  First three programs--agriculture/ethanol, education, Kosovo.  Very inexpensive est. $150.
March 10-15        March 10  Announcement tour.  DC news conference to pick up endorsements of Sens. Thompson and Frist.  NH. Announcement and rally at Derry Village School.  March 11  Iowa.  Announcement w/ Gov. Branstad at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids; agriculture policy speech at Iowa State University in Ames (calls for expanded use of ethanol in place of the MTBE gasoline additive).  March 12  Puente Learning Center in Los Angeles.  March 15  Rally and questions from six students at Maryville High School.
March 9                 Announces candidacy in the Old Supreme Court Chamber at the Tennessee State Capitol.
Feb. 11                   "Foreign Policy Priorities for a New Century" at the American Enterprise Institute.
Jan. 8                     Forms Alexander for President Exploratory Committee, Inc..

1998 Overview
According to Ted Welch, Alexander's committees will have raised $5 million in 1998 and $6.5 million for the 1997-98 cycle--CNAC $4 million and We The Parents $2 million.  CNAC supported 167 candidates in 30 states.  We The Parents spent $1 million nationally on television advertisements.
From Labor Day to Election Day 1998 Alexander embarked on a We The Parents campaign tour, making 73 stops in 21 states.  His standard theme during these appearances was a call to put the Republican party, government, schools and culture "back on the side of parents raising children" through such measures as tripling the deduction for dependent children to $8,000 and creating education savings accounts.  Shortly after the election, Alexander made a week-long trip to Europe, visiting Moscow, Paris, Bonn and London. 

IOWA:  According to Hugh Winebrenner, Alexander spent 36 days in Iowa in the period from Jan. 20, 1997 to Nov. 3, 1998.  This number was second only to longshot Sen. Bob Smith's tally, and double that of other active prospects.  Heading into the Nov. 3 elections, Alexander sought to help the Iowa GOP by targeting 50,000 Republicans who have tended not to turn out in mid-term elections (this can hurt, particularly in down ballot races).  Dave Kochel, former executive director of the state party, oversaw the program.  Sophisticated targeting software was applied to the voter file obtained from the state, in order to identify important counties.  CNAC recruited county chairs in 85 of Iowa's 99 counties and identified precinct people in 800 of the 2,100 precincts.  Precinct people went through a list and identified 10 people they knew.  Finally in the second week of October, the precinct people sent out the post cards to the 10 people, sometimes with a little note.  After the election Alexander and Branstad did a conference call to thank everyone. 

NH: Alexander was likewise active in New Hampshire, making at least nine visits to the state in 1997-98.  His second annual lobster bake in Rye, NH drew as many as 2,800 people and was one of the biggest Republican campaign events ever in the state.
1998 Highlights
Nov. 13-20            Alexander, accompanied by Peter D. Hannaford, Dr. Ian Bremmer and Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin, travels to Moscow, Paris, Bonn and London to meet with leaders in government and other fields and "listen and learn."  The focus of the week-long trip is on trade and national security issues.                              
Sept. 8                    Major speech at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government "A Supply Side Argument for a Family Friendly Tax Code."  Alexander calls for tripling the dependent child deduction to $8,000, ending the marriage penalty, creating education savings accounts, creating Individual Savings Accounts, retaining a home and farm mortgage deduction, and doubling the deduction for charitable giving over 5% of income.  The speech marked the beginning of a 21-state, 73-stop "We The Parents" campaign tour that ran through November 2.  Alexander, starting in Wyoming, embarked on an intensive schedule of fundraisers, events and speeches that took him from California to New York and points in between.  Meanwhile Alexander's ad campaign continues into its fourth week, still at a cost of $200,000 per week.  "Photos" ran for the first two weeks; "Wedding" for the next two.
Aug. 20                  NH.  Second annual New Hampshire Republican lobster bake at Odiorne Point State Park in Rye draws as many as 2,800 people.  The Eagle-Tribune of Haverhill, MA (8/21) described it as "the biggest Republican campaign event ever in the state." A New Hampshire GOP official termed the lobster bake "a flex of organizational muscle" and said it had been "very streamlined."  He noted that Alexander had 70 people working all day setting up and said that no one had to wait more than five minutes for a lobster.
Aug. 17                  Alexander's We The Parents political action committee first appears on the scene with a national television advertising campaign.  The initial 30-second spot "Photos" calls for tripling the federal tax deduction for each child to $8,000.  The ad will run in 14 states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, at a cost of $200,000 for the first week.

Aug. 4                   Registers
Virginia-based political action committee We The Parents.   June 12-13            Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Events at the Republican Party of Iowa's First in the Nation Gala.  June 12  CNAC Taste of Tennessee Supper hosted by Alexander and Gov. Terry Branstad draws about 600 people.  In his speech at the Gala, Alexander called for a "new, simpler tax code based on our values" and proposed tripling the federal tax exemption for preschool age children from $2,650 to nearly $8,000.  June 13  Book signing and coffee with House Speaker Ron Corbett and House Majority Leader Brent Siegrist, appearances at the Grassley breakfast and Christian Coalition luncheon.   
May                       "Lamar Alexander's Little Plaid Book" is published by Rutledge Hill Press.  The book contains "311 rules, lessons, and reminders about running for office and making a difference, whether it's for president of the United States or president of your senior class."
April 22                  CNAC reports $1,589,920 raised in the first quarter (federal $470,200 and non-federal $1,119,700).  The amount is more than the $1.5 million total raised in 1997.
April 20-21            NH.   April 20 At Dartmouth College in Hanover, public lecture, "The New Misery Index" at the Hinman Forum, followed by reception.  Alexander says the New Misery Index comprises "the failure of our schools, the epidemic of illegal drugs, and the absence of parents in the lives of their children,…challenges that, if left unattended, could bring our country to its knees in a generation."  April 21 Breakfast with students, lecture in Prof. John Sipple's "Educational Issues in Contemporary Society" class.  Press conference in Manchester on the "culture of violence."
March 11              CNAC holds its second annual dinner in Nashville and announces that it has raised $3.5 million of its $4 million goal for 1998 --"over a million dollars in hand and the rest in hard commitments."
Wk of Jan. 19-23 CNAC opens office in NH.
Wk of Jan. 16       CNAC begins running a radio ad in New Hampshire, in the aftermath of a controversial New Hampshire Supreme Court decision on school funding.  (Steve Forbes' AHGO also started running a radio ad on the subject.  The first ad war of the 2000 campaign?)

1997 Overview
Alexander, along with Steve Forbes, was the presidential hopeful most active in 1997.  He made at least six visits to Iowa and three to New Hampshire during the year.  His PAC, the Campaign for a New American Century, raised $1.5 million.  In early Iowa maneuvering, Alexander scored a major coup by securing the backing of Governor Terry Branstad, whom he named national chairman of CNAC on Nov. 24.  The Branstad organization could provide a major boost for Alexander in the Iowa caucuses.  Earlier in the year Brian Kennedy, a former chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, came on board as CNAC's political director.  In New Hampshire, meanwhile, an August lobster bake that Alexander organized in Rye was one of the highlights of the summer.  Nationally, release of the National Commission on Philanthropy and Civic Renewal report in June generated some attention.
Throughout the year, in speeches around the country, Alexander stressed the theme "creating the world's best schools for our children."  He advanced a set of proposals to "make the public schools as good as they can be."  Alexander sought: standards set by states and communities rather than Washington, DC, charter schools, flexible school schedules, higher pay for good teachers and an end to teacher tenure, and a Hope scholarship program which would give federal monies currently spent by the Department of Education to low- and middle-income parents so that they can choose which schools to send their children to (also known as vouchers).  Alexander also responded to President Clinton's initiative on race relations, arguing that not diversity, but "our capacity to be one country" is America's greatest strength.  He said that divisions  due to age, race and income pose the greatest challenge to our country.  Alexander said Clinton was right to raise the subject of race relations, but was moving in the wrong direction on it. 
1997 Highlights
Early October       Alexander's PAC, Campaign for a New American Century, issues the first of an occasional series of glossy pamphlets "Making America One Country."
Sept. 19                 Alexander campaigns with Virginia gubernatorial candidate James Gilmore.
Aug. 6-8                 Three-day trip to NH.  Portsmouth, Dover and, the highlight, an Aug. 7 evening Lobster bake at Odiorne Point State Park in Rye that draws more than 1,000 Republican activists.
June 18                  The National Commission on Philanthropy and Civic Renewal, chaired by Alexander, releases its report "Giving Better, Giving Smarter: Renewing Philanthropy in America."  The report concludes that mere goodwill is not enough and emphasizes "effective giving."  The Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin funded the Commission which started up in Sept. 1996.   (
Spring                     Alexander's organization pays for a survey of Iowa and New Hampshire voters.  FEC reports show the survey, done by the polling firm Q.W. Ayres and Assoc., cost $39,395.04 (April 16); it was the largest single disbursement during the year.
March 31              First visit to Iowa since the 1996 election.  Lincoln Club dinner in Des Moines (raising money for legislative candidates).
Feb. 15                   Lincoln Day dinner in Laconia, New Hampshire.

Copyright © Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action