I just finished reading Roll Call’s interview of Gwen Graham, who last month announced she’ll run as a Democrat in Florida’s Second Congressional District, challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland. There were two interesting tidbits in Graham’s profile.
The first one is that Joe Trippi is serving as Graham’s media consultant. Once heralded on the cover of The New Republic as the man who “reinvented campaigning,” Trippi began his political career working on Teddy Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1980. His work in presidential politics continued with the campaigns of Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Richard Gephardt and Howard Dean.
Trippi working for Graham is a big hire for a congressional candidate, even one who is the daughter of Bob Graham.
Another aspect of the interview I found interesting is Graham’s answer to a question about whether the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee “recruited” her to run. Her answer runs counter to much of what has already been written about Graham, mainly that the DCCC’s Steve Israel sought out Graham to run against Southerland.
That’s not the case, Graham insists.
“I was not recruited by the DCCC,” Graham states. “I decided to run and I reached out to the DCCC and let them know that I was going to run.”
Semantics, one might argue, about whether Graham was recruited or decided to run on her own, but this is actually a big deal to Graham (I’ve received pushback on this issue from the campaign) — and the narrative she hopes to shape about her candidacy.
You can read the rest of the interview here.