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Ed Gillespie in June 2011
|Born||Edward W. Gillespie
August 1, 1961
Mount Holly Township, New Jersey, U.S.
Edward W. Gillespie (born August 1, 1961) is an American Republican political strategist, senior advisor to Mitt Romney 2012 and former Counselor to the President in the George W. Bush White House. Gillespie, along with Jack Quinn, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore, founded Quinn Gillespie & Associates, a bipartisan lobbying firm. Gillespie is also the founder of Ed Gillespie Strategies, a strategic consulting firm that provides high-level advice to companies and CEOs, coalitions, and trade associations, and together with Karl Rove, founded Crossroads GPS.
Gillespie was born August 1, 1961, in the Mount Holly Township and raised in the Browns Mills section of Pemberton Township, New Jersey. His father was an immigrant from Ireland who grew up in North Philadelphia. He is a graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C and Pemberton Township High School. While at CUA he began his career on Capitol Hill as a Senate parking lot attendant. He is married to Cathy Gillespie and has three children.
He began his political career as a telephone solicitor for the Republican National Committee in 1985. He later worked for a decade as a top aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), and was a principal drafter of the GOP's 1994 "Contract With America." In 1996, he became Director of Communications and Congressional Affairs for the Republican National Committee under Haley Barbour. In 1997, Gillespie formed Policy Impact Communications, a public affairs communications firm, with Barbour.
From 1999-2008, Gillespie served as a political strategist to several American politicians. In 1999, Gillespie worked as the Press Secretary for the Presidential campaign of John Kasich until his withdrawal from the race. In 2000, Gillespie served as senior communications advisor for the presidential campaign of George W. Bush, organizing the party convention program in Philadelphia for Bush's nomination and Bush's inauguration ceremony. He also played an aggressive role as spokesman for the Bush campaign during the vote recount in Florida.
In 2003, Gillespie was selected as Chairman of the RNC, serving in that role through the 2004 elections that saw President Bush win re-election and Republicans retain control of the House and Senate. His book "Winning Right" was released in September 2006.
Gillespie has been particularly active in his home state of Virginia. He served as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia from December 2006 to June 2007. He played a visible role in 2006 Virginia Senate elections as a spokesman for defeated Virginia Senator George Allen. He had been tapped by Allen as a political adviser for a possible presidential run in 2008 before that loss. In February 2009, Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell announced that Gillespie will serve as General Chairman of his campaign for Governor. Gillespie is an adviser to American Crossroads, a 527 organization that plans to help Republican Party members get elected.
Role as White House counselor
In late June 2007, President Bush brought Gillespie into the White House on a full-time basis, to replace the departing Counselor to the President Dan Bartlett with the mandate to help raise Bush's flagging popularity ratings. When Karl Rove also departed in August, the Washington Post described Gillespie as stepping up to do part of Karl Rove's job in the White House. A later Post article described Gillespie's role orchestrating a PR unit dedicated to "selling the surge to American voters and the media." According to the latter article:
- From the start of the Bush plan, the White House communications office had been blitzing an e-mail list of as many as 5,000 journalists, lawmakers, lobbyists, conservative bloggers, military groups and others with talking points or rebuttals of criticism...Gillespie arranged several presidential speeches to make strategic arguments, such as comparing Iraq to Vietnam or warning of Iranian interference. When critics assailed Bush for overstating ties between al-Qaeda and the group called al-Qaeda in Iraq, Gillespie organized a Bush speech to make his case. "The whole idea is to take these things on before they become conventional wisdom," said White House communications director Kevin Sullivan. "We have a very short window."
Later in 2007, the Washington Post reported that Gillespie had taken a substantial pay cut to become Bush's counselor. "A disclosure form shows he made nearly $1.3 million in salary and bonus in the previous 18 months at his consulting and public affairs firm.... His annual government salary is $168,000. The form, obtained by the Associated Press, reports that Gillespie, ... a former Capitol Hill aide who co-founded his lobbying shop in 2000 ..., has accumulated a fortune estimated to be between $7.86 million and $19.4 million."
Post White House
In 2010, Gillespie was named the chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee, which helps elect state attorneys general, lieutenant governors, secretaries of state and state house and senate candidates across the country. He took the position after successfully serving as chairman of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s campaign in 2009.
- DiUlio, Nick. "Ed Gillespie: The Face of the RNC", South Jersey Magazine, January 2005. Accessed May 22, 2013. "Born in Mount Holly at Burlington County Memorial Hospital and raised in Browns Mills, Gillespie, 43, went from being just another small-town boy who took humble bike rides with his dog and ran from the Jersey Devil, to Chairman of the Republican National Committee and regular strategic confidant of the leader of the free world."
- National Review: "A Great Loss" By Ed Gillespie January 9, 2012
- "Arena Profile: Ed Gillespie". Politico. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
- Strassel, Kimberley (April 9, 2010). "The Right Ramps Up". Wall Street Journal (News Corporation). Retrieved 2010-04-10.
- "As Rove Departs, President Again Turns to Gillespie." by Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post, August 16, 2007.
- "Among Top Officials, 'Surge' Has Sparked Dissent, Infighting." by Peter Baker et al., Washington Post, September 9, 2007.
- Baker, Peter (December 10, 2007). "Perino's 'Missile Crisis' Confession". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- Martin, Jonathan (April 5, 2012). "Ed Gillespie joins Team Romney". Politico. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- Quinn & Gillespie
- Ed Gillespie Strategies
- Chris Oakes, "Selling America on Crypto," Wired, March 4, 1998.
- The United States Needs a Clear and Realistic Encryption Policy, Statement of Edward Gillespie, Executive Director, Americans for Computer Privacy, March 4, 1999.
- Jim VandeHei, "Bush Policies Ease Transition For Aides Into Lobbyist Jobs," Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2001.
- Ryan Lizza, "The Insider," New Republic, June 19, 2001.
- A look at the 2004 presidential field, CNN.com, January 1, 2003: Ed Gillespie joined "Crossfire" hosts James Carville and Tucker Carlson.
- Robert Novak, "Bush on the Hill," Creators Syndicate, May 24, 2003.
- "Ed Gillespie: The Embedded Lobbyist, Public Citizen, June 2003.
- Mike Allen, "Bush Picks Campaign Chief, RNC Chairman," Washington Post, June 17, 2003.
- Elisabeth Bumiller, "Fierce Defender of President to Lead Campaign for Court", New York Times, July 6, 2005.
- Thomas B. Edsall, "Lobbyist to Campaign For Bush Court Nominee: Gillespie Choice Marks Bid to Use GOP Muscle", Washington Post, July 8, 2005.
- Ed Gillespie at the Internet Movie Database
-  web site
-  website