How do I know? Because last year I inserted my foot in my mouth with comments about Republican spokespeople Dan Dawson and Kristen McDonald.
In December of 2011, Kristen McDonald had been promoted to press secretary at the Republican Party of Florida, moving up from communications assistant and Dan Dawson was named the ‘new media’ director. At that time, I offered this snark:
“(I)sn’t McDonald’s resume just a little thin? She only joined the RPOF in July. Before that, she served a six-month internship in Rick Scott’s communications office, which prepares one for what? How to avoid questions about who lost the emails during Scott’s transition? I know, Brian Hughes is still the comms. director at the RPOF and he will be calling the shots, but you’d think the party would want just a little more experience in such a key position.”
“Which brings me to Dan Dawson; Like McDonald, he may be a fine person, but, again, isn’t his resume a little light? He was a travel aide to Jeff Atwater. Not exactly the kind of experience they write West Wing episodes about. He ran the war room for Jon Huntsman. Just a word of advice to Mr. Dawson: I really like Jon Huntsman, but I don’t know what kind of war room he has, but I certainly wouldn’t be bragging about it.”
After I posted my initial thoughts about Dawson and McDonald, Republican strategist Brian Hughes warned me to ‘underestimate McDonald and Dawson at my own peril.’
Turns out, Hughes was very right about his proteges.
This week, Dawson and McDonald have been elevated to key positions in the capital politics; Dawson has been named the press secretary for the Senate Majority Office, while McDonald has been tapped to be Communications Director in the House Majority Office.
In other words, I was very wrong about the potential of Mr. Dawson and Ms. McDonald.
Underestimate them at your peril.