|Born||1953/1954 (age 61–62)
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
|Alma mater||Colorado College
Pembroke College, Oxford
University of California, Los
Stuart Stevens is an American travel writer and political consultant. He was the cofounder of Washington, D.C. - based political media consultancy Stevens & Schriefer Group (with Russell Schriefer). In 2013, he became a founding partner in Strategic Partners & Media, the consulting firm with the best record in statewide races. He served as a top strategist for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.
Stevens, who is from Jackson, Mississippi, grew up in the Southern United States in the 1960s. He felt that the Democratic Party members he knew consisted predominantly of "good ol' boy" segregationists. He chose instead to join the Republican Party. He attended Colorado College, Middlebury College, Pembroke College, Oxford, and UCLA Film School. Stevens is an extreme sports enthusiast who participates in triathlons, has completed the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race, and once skied the last 100 miles to the North Pole.
Beginning his political career in his native Mississippi, Stevens worked on Thad Cochran’s campaigns and has gone on to help elect more governors and US Senators than any other current Republican media consultant. Stevens worked for Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign and was part of George W. Bush's media team in 2000 and 2004. His book The Big Enchilada is a chronicle of Bush's 2000 campaign. He and Russell Schriefer had worked for John McCain's campaign in the 2008 election, but had changed their allegiance to Mitt Romney by July 2007.
Overseas, Stevens worked for successfully for two candidates in 2005 and 2006. In Albania he worked for Prime Minister Sali Berisha during the 2005 election campaign, where he based the campaign primarily on "a pledge to reduce corruption". He also worked for 2006 election campaign of Joseph Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He has served as strategist and media consultant to dozens of Congressman, Governors and Senators. Notable clients include President Bush, Governor Romney, Governor Haley Barbour, Governor Tom Ridge, Senator Thad Cochran, Senator Dick Lugar, Senator Mel Martinez, Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Roger Wicker, Senator Jon Kyl, Governor Bill Weld, Governor Paul Cellucci, Governor Bob Riley and others.
In 2010, Stevens served as strategist and media consultant to 3 winning senate campaigns: Rob Portman in Ohio, Roy Blunt in Missouri and Dan Coats in Indiana.
In 2011-2012, Stevens was the lead strategist in Governor Romney's Presidential campaign. He is credited with developing the strategy that won the primary.
In 2014, Stevens helped Senator Thad Cochran win the Mississippi Senate race which included overcoming primary challenger Chris McDaniel. During the 2014 election cycle, Stevens and his partner Russ Schriefer saw all of their clients win their general election campaigns including Governor Larry Hogan in Maryland and Elise Stefanik - the youngest woman ever elected to congress.
Stevens emerged from an internal power struggle during Romney's 2008 presidential campaign, in which he and Schriefer clashed with the campaign's existing media team, to become Romney's senior strategist in 2012. In that role he was responsible for the campaign's focus on employment, its efforts to help Romney connect with voters, and its aggressive primary campaign against Rick Perry. Stevens and Schriefer also handled advertising for the campaign.
Stevens was publicly criticized by numerous Romney campaign officials, according to a widely cited Politico article published on the evening of September 16, 2012 but largely overshadowed by the 47% comment in the 2012 Romney video leak the following day.
Television and film
Stevens has worked on television shows including Northern Exposure (writing the scripts for two episodes, "Brains, Know-How and Native Intelligence" and "Jules et Joel") and I'll Fly Away. He consulted on the 2011 Hollywood film The Ides of March and was a Fellow of the American Film Institute.
- Malaria Dreams: An African Adventure, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989, ISBN 9780871133618
- Feeding Frenzy: Across Europe in Search of the Perfect Meal, Ballantine Books, 1998, ISBN 9780345425546
- Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures Along China's Ancient Silk Road, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1988, ISBN 9780871131904
- The Big Enchilada: Campaign Adventures With the Cockeyed Optimists from Texas Who Won the Biggest Prize in Politics, Simon & Schuster, 2001, ISBN 9780743222907
- He Hates You: A Profile Of Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s Media Assassin
- Hirst, Christopher (January 15, 1998). "thursday's book". The Independent. Retrieved July 5, 1998. Check date values in:
- "OnPolitics". The Washington Post. April 30, 2000. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- Scheiber, Noam (August 2, 2012). "The Square and the Flair". The New Republic. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
- Parker, Ashley (September 19, 2011). "An Unconventional Strategist Reshaping Romney". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- Allen, Mike; VandeHei, Jim (September 16, 2012). "Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled". Politico. Archived from the original on September 17, 2012.
- Scheiber, Noam. "The Square and The Flair". The New Republic.
- "The Stevens and Schriefer Group: About Us".
- Stuart Stevens' Stuart Stevens’ Shady Past Clients, Revealed| Penn Bullock| 29 October 2012| tnr.com| accessed 29.10.2012
- Allen, Mike (September 16, 2012). "Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled". Politico. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- Rutenberg, Jim (September 16, 2012). "Amid Discord, Romney Seeks to Sharpen Message". The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- Henderson, Nia-Malika (September 17, 2012). "Top Romney strategist Stuart Stevens likely to stay despite criticism". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- Kakutani, Michiko (August 11, 1989). "Books of The Times; Africa as Backdrop for a Comic Adventure". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- Firke, Lisa (May 22, 1988). "Area man narrates gruelling China trip". Record-Journal. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- "The Big Enchilada". Online NewsHour. Public Broadcasting Service. August 20, 2001. Retrieved July 5, 2012.