Skip to main content

American Association of Political Consultants interview collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS2100

Collection Scope and Content

This collection consists of interviews with 15 political consultants, one tape of political commercials, and transcriptions of these materials. The videotapes include oral history interviews conducted by John Franzen, Whit Ayres, and others with political consultants including Charlie Black, Jill Buckley, Joe Cerrell, Wally Clinton, Walter DeVries, Bob Goodman, Charles Guggenheim, Bill Hamilton, Peter Hart, Joe Napolitan, Matt Reese, Stuart Spencer, Ray Strother, Robert M. Teeter, and Richard Wirthlin.

Dates

  • 1996-2000 and undated
  • Majority of material found within 1996 - 2000

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Some records may be restricted.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical or Biographical Note

The American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) is the professional organization for people working in the field of politics in the United States. They have joined together to promote the following goals: to raise the standards of practice in political consultation, thereby enhancing the political process and improving public confidence in the American political system; to provide professional guidance, assistance, and education to members as they develop the skills, techniques, and business procedures required for successful political consultation; to establish and maintain a high standard of ethical conduct through membership education and the establishment and promotion of a workable Code of Professional Ethics for members; to help inform the news media, educational institutions, political organizations, and the general public about the value of political consultation and its contribution to the political process; and to place particular emphasis in our work on reaching out to involve and educate young people in the art of political consultation and in the benefits it brings to the practice of democracy.

The American Association of Political Consultants, founded in 1969, is a bipartisan organization of political professionals. Association membership consists of political consultants, media consultants, pollsters, campaign managers, corporate public affairs officers, professors, fund-raisers, lobbyists, congressional staffers and vendors and is open to everyone associated with politics from the local level to the White House. AAPC members understand that, while they are often competitors on election day, they are all colleagues with similar professional concerns that transcend "Republican", "Democrat" or "Independent" labels.

The creation of political consultation as a separate career discipline has been a development of the middle 20th Century. As with most of politics, there is disagreement over when the "industry" began. Some call the California firms of Baus and Ross or Whittaker-Baxter, back in the 1930s, the founders of the field. Others credit people like Joe Napolitan, Clif White, Matt Reese, Bill Roberts, Stu Spencer, Joe Cerrell, Bill Hamilton, Bob Squier, Walter deVries and their peers as the first "true" political consultants. These political pioneers date back to the 1950s.

Political consultants can do everything or specialize in one specific service. General services include overall strategic expertise, whereas specialist services include such diverse talents as survey research, television or radio production and placement, telemarketing, direct mail, fund raising, media relations, computer use, and a host of additional forms of expertise.

Political advice-giving as a business, independent of other types of income production, began about the same time as the formation of the American Association of Political Consultants in 1969. Only a handful of people attended the first meeting at Lincoln Center in New York City. The association now numbers more than 1,100 active members, and operates from a permanent office in Washington, D.C.

The American Association of Political Consultants maintains a Code of Professional Ethics for members.

From the AAPC's website 2005.

Extent

2 Linear Feet (Two linear feet and 24 digital objects.)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This collection consists of interviews with 15 political consultants, one tape of political commercials, and transcriptions of these materials. The videotapes include oral history interviews conducted by John Franzen, Whit Ayres, and others with political consultants including Charlie Black, Jill Buckley, Joe Cerrell, Wally Clinton, Walter DeVries, Bob Goodman, Charles Guggenheim, Bill Hamilton, Peter Hart, Joe Napolitan, Matt Reese, Stuart Spencer, Ray Strother, Robert M. Teeter, and Richard Wirthlin.
Title
Guide to the American Association of Political Consultants interview collection, 1997-1999
Status
Completed
Author
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Date
2006
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

Contact:
2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America