Press-savvy Wolfson to oversee DCCC

WASHINGTON: PR has moved to the head of the table at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) with the selection of veteran press spokesman Howard Wolfson as the organization's new executive director.

WASHINGTON: PR has moved to the head of the table at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) with the selection of veteran press spokesman Howard Wolfson as the organization's new executive director.

WASHINGTON: PR has moved to the head of the table at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) with the selection of veteran press spokesman Howard Wolfson as the organization's new executive director.

Wolfson's first mission will be to help the party pick up the five seats needed to regain the majority status it lost in the 1994 election.

Democratic political consultant Peter Fenn noted that Wolfson is a strong message maker, having served as communications director for the US Senate campaign of Hillary Clinton. Wolfson received positive reviews for his performance in the nation's second most closely watched political campaign last year.

'(Hillary), more than most, needed someone who was relatively on-message and provided a wall between her and a fairly hostile press. At the same time he was extremely accessible to the press,' said New York magazine political writer Michael Tomasky, author of Hillary's Turn, a recently released book about the campaign.

Wolfson also did a stint handling press for the Senate campaign of Chuck Schumer in 1998, which upset GOP incumbent Al D'Amato (R-NY).

Tomasky credited Wolfson for being straightforward and candid, but the new position will bring its share of administrative responsibilities too.

However, he has already served as chief of staff for Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the DCCC's new chair. Fenn noted that Wolfson has Lowey's 'confidence' having also handled her press.

But some observers see several institutions and leaders jockeying to present the Democratic message. Newly elected Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Terry McAuliffe took office on a pledge to triple the committee's allocation for communications and research.

McAuliffe has said he will seek greater coordination and lessen duplication between the DNC and affiliate committees, including the DCCC.



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