Tucker Eskew

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Tucker Eskew is a Republican political consultant in the United States who served as "chief of staff and permanent companion on the campaign trail" to Sarah Palin.[1] He is the founding partner of the Eskew Strategy Group, an Alexandria based Republican communications firm.[2] In 2005, he merged the Eskew Group into a new communications firm called ViaNovo.[3] Other notable partners in ViaNovo include Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign.

Background[edit]

After graduating with a Political Science degree from the University of the South, Eskew began his career on President Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign.[4] Tucker became a press secretary to South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell [5] at age 25. He served Campbell for eight years as Press Secretary and Communications Director.[4] He worked closely with infamous GOP operative Lee Atwater, as seen in the political documentary Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story. In the film, Tucker says “Can you understand American politics if you don’t understand Lee Atwater? I believe not.” [2] In the mid-90s, he co-founded an electronic commerce business and later started a South Carolina-based public relations and business-consulting firm.[6]

2000 George W. Bush campaign[edit]

During the presidential primary campaign in 2000, Tucker directed South Carolina communications for George W. Bush in his hard-fought campaign against John McCain. A New York Times report on the South Carolina Republican primary described him as "Mr. Bush's spokesman here and a longtime political operative," quoting his pushback against crossover voters: "I think this alliance between the limousine-liberal Democrats and the McCain campaign is distorting the intent of real Republican voters."[7]

According to ABC News, "When the media first reported push-poll phone calls from Voter/Consumer Research, a company hired by the Bush campaign, asking South Carolinians if they knew about McCain’s role in the S&L crisis and his scandal as a member of the Keating Five, it was Eskew -- Bush’s South Carolina spokesman – who acknowledged, and defended, the calls." [8]

After the Bush upset victory over McCain in South Carolina, Eskew became a top advisor to the Bush national campaign.[9] He also served as spokesman for the Bush/Cheney recount committee in Florida.[10]

George W. Bush administration[edit]

After Bush took office in January, 2001, Eskew became the director of Bush's Office of Media Affairs at the White House, the number two public relations position under chief media chief Karen Hughes. But in November 2001, Eskew was moved to the Foreign Office in London to help plan media strategy in opposition to Osama bin Laden, " for the Coalition Information Centre, a three-pronged rebuttal and publicity operation based in Washington, London and Islamabad ... mainly driven by the US and UK."[11]

2008 John McCain presidential campaign[edit]

According to ABC News, Eskew was brought on board the McCain campaign to "help Palin prepare for her Wednesday night acceptance speech at the GOP convention and for her stump speech as she hits the road, brief her on policy matters, and help her handle the media scrutiny a lifetime in Alaska does not necessarily prepare one for." [8]

The Chicago Tribune (September 11, 2008) described Eskew as "a constant by Palin's side this week, as she has hopped between SUVs and campaign planes, all the while reading briefing materials or receiving quick tutorials from policy advisers who have dipped on and off the campaign trail to visit with her."[12]

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