|Setting the Stage
From inflating more than a thousand balloons to distributing hand-lettered signs around the gym, the people of Huntington provided the energy and enthusiasm to set the stage for Dan Quayle to launch his campaign. However, it also takes an experienced hand to successfully produce such an event. Craig Whitney (above), Quayle 2000's director of candidate operations and a long-time advance person, organized the entertainment, the fireworks, the 4000-balloon drop, and other fine touches. Whitney served as director of vice presidential advance for Quayle during the Bush administration; he also choreographed Dick Lugar's presidential announcement in 1995 and served as political director for that campaign. More recently he has been political director for Campaign America, Quayle's PAC.
What springs to mind when I
words "Dan Quayle?"
"There are only five current or former vice president of this country living... One is Al Gore; another is Dan Quayle. And if the left of the Democrats are going to put up a vice president, the Republican Party should think very seriously about matching that credential for credential..."
"We know credentialism in the end wins the day. We know that on the foreign policy and national defense platform and on fighting for values that many Republican primary voters care about, Dan Quayle is peerless. And frankly, we've gotten an unbelievable response to his economic agenda."Fitzpatrick also acknowledged that the campaign faces some challenges:
"It's our burden to dislodge from voters' minds this sort of stuck-in-neutral misperception that Dan Quayle, that a simple gaffe, it should prevent him, should prevent a former vice president from assuming the next highest position. And that's our job..."Asked how Quayle can overcome the image problem, Fitzpatrick said that Quayle's strategy includes delivering a major policy speech per month in 1999 as well as re-engaging the media.
"It's slow and steady for us. In other words, you're not going to see any secret formula, no silver bullet. We're not going to surprise you one day; you know I'm not going to call you and say, 'You've got to watch this,' or 'Tomorrow's the big day that he emerges fro the political witness protection program with a new look and a new identity.' It's actually the opposite. He's going to be the 'new old Dan Quayle' if you will, meaning the things that he's stood for, he'll continue to stand for."