Gov. Schwarzenegger is unveiling his first ad of Campaign 2006 today, and with it a new media team, led by veterans of President Bush’s reelection camapign and one of the Republican Party’s most hard-hitting ad makers. Just as the governor has revamped his core of campaign strategists, bringing in campaign manager Steve Schmidt and a host of Bush White House veterans, Schwarzenegger will have a new creative team in charge of marketing Gov. Schwarzenegger to voters this year, all with George Bush on their resumes.
Matthew Dowd, Bush’s chief campaign strategist in 2004, is the governor’s chief strategist, and will oversee the campaign’s media message.
Alex Castellanos, who is based in Alexandria, Va., has a reputation for being a hard-nosed media maven. Castellanos was also hired by the Bush campaign in 2004, and has worked for the president’s brother Jeb, in his campaigns for Florida governor. Castellanos, considered one of the GOP’s top media consultants, is perhaps best known for the infamous “Hands” spot on behalf of Jesse Helms in his 1990 reelection bid, attacking racial quotas.
Rounding out the media team is Fred Davis, another Bush 2004 veteran. Davis, a Los Angeles-based consultant, has worked for a number of Republican campaigns, including Dan Quayle’s presidential campaign in 2000, Elizabeth Dole’s 2002 Senate race and U.S. Rep. Bob Barr in Georgia.
The new team replaces the team led by veteran media consultant Don Sipple, who was Bob Dole’s chief media strategist and who served as senior political strategist for Dick Riordan’s gubernatorial campaign in 2002. Sipple was a top strategist for former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, and crafted the anti-immigration campaign in Wilson’s second run for governor.