Vincent Harris (political strategist)

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Vincent Harris, CEO of Harris Media at the office.

Vincent Harris is an American conservative political strategist and the CEO of Harris Media, an online communications firm based in Austin, Texas. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at Baylor University.

Harris joined Mike Huckabee's 2008 Presidential campaign just a few months after it was announced, working as the campaign's official blogger.[1][2] The following year, Harris served as Online Director for Bob McDonnell's successful gubernatorial campaign.[3] McDonnell's online campaign, considered highly successful, was one of the first major Republican campaigns to embrace social media.[4][5][6]

Harris' work has been featured in publications such as The Weekly Standard,[7] and the Washington Post.[8] His commentary on online media has appeared in CNN,[9] Politico,[10][11] the Washington Post,[12] the Richmond Times Dispatch,[13] the Minneapolis Star Tribune,[14] the Washington Internet Daily,[15] and ABC News[16]

Harris has been active in the 2012 Presidential campaign. He first served as the online strategist for Rick Perry.[17] After Perry dropped out of the race and endorsed Newt Gingrich, Harris was hired to help the Gingrich campaign's online and social media operations.[18] In 2012, National Journal named him one of ten Republicans to follow on Twitter.[19]

Political Consultant and digital strategist Vincent Harris with client Mitch McConnell at the Kentucky Derby with their wives.
Vincent Harris with Mitch McConnell at the Kentucky Derby

In 2012, Harris led the digital operations of Senator Ted Cruz's campaign. This digital campaign contributed in making Cruz the next U.S. Senator from Texas.[20] The aggressive, grassroots-centric digital approach was unlike anything previously seen in Texas. Read the full 2012 case study on Ted Cruz.

Working alongside Senator Mitch McConnell's 2014 campaign as lead digital director, Harris brought "a new era of social campaigning for Republicans" through social media integration.[21] Straying from the typical communication plan centered on traditional media, Harris created a brand new, modernized platform skyrocketing the Senator's following. Armed with a social media strategy, McConnell won the 2014 Kentucky Primary Election and will contest the upcoming November elections utilizing the same digital expertise.

Harris was featured in an article courtesy of Bloomberg Politics titled, "The Man Who Invented The Republican Internet".[22]

Vincent Harris speaking about digital media and politics.
Vincent Harris speaking about digital media and politics.

Harris was hired by Senator Rand Paul's political operation, joining Senator Paul's 2016 team as the top digital strategist. Harris will sit at the "top of the leadership team" providing digital strategy expertise pertaining to data collection, website design and social media tactics, to name a few.[23]

In 2015 Harris was reported to have been hired by the Likud Party campaign.[24] His recognition as a GOP digital media guru had gone global after being appointed head of the re-election campaign for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[25]

“I love Israel, and I am excited to be here to help the Likud and the prime minister use digital media in an effective and forward-looking manner.”

— Vincent Harris, The Hill

The May/June 2015 edition of Politico Magazine profiled Vincent Harris and his firm, which they dubbed "Rand Paul's Digital Army," saying of Harris Media LLC:

Vincent Harris, CEO of Harris Media, at the Austin office
Vincent Harris, CEO of Harris Media, at the Austin office

“has amassed a marquee roster of conservative clients, from Sarah Palin to Rand Paul, and established itself as the buzziest GOP firm of the cycle.”

— Tom Bartlett, Politico Magazine

[26]

Vincent Harris's digital work for Senator Rand Paul contributed to his selection as one of the Washington Examiner's "New Voices for 2015," which they define as, "the intellectuals, policymakers, think tank leaders, campaign operatives, candidates, pols, pundits, wonks and others who are pushing our thinking and testing the limits of political possibility."[27] His work with Senator Paul was not short of criticism, though. In October 2015, Harris was behind Paul live-streaming an entire day on the campaign trail. By the end of the day, Paul had enough and called it a "dumbass livestream." The comment from Paul brought about a flurry of negative attention to an already slumped campaign. [28]

“I wish I knew [why the campaign was live-streaming an entire day]. I’ve been saying, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this and now we’re doing this.”[29]

— Rand Paul, The Washington Post

In June 2016, POLITICO reported that Donald Trump's presidential campaign had hired Harris and his team to work for the campaign.[30] Harris appeared to agree with the claim by tweeting a picture of Trump giving a thumbs up soon after the news broke.[31] The next day, Breitbart News interviewed Harris and discovered that Harris was only used as a subcontractor through Trump's actual digital firm for a single project.[32]

Harris is currently attending the University of Texas working towards his PhD.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huckabee, Mike. Do the Right Thing. Sentinel HC, 2008, p. 195-196.
  2. ^ Webb, Kane. "Arkansas underdog Mike Huckabee makes hay in Iowa," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Aug. 19, 2007.
  3. ^ Finn, Mindy. McDonnell Online Strategy. Nov. 11, 2009.
  4. ^ Hart, Kim. GOP leads media charge. Nov. 18, 2009.
  5. ^ "Bob McDonnell's Impressive Online Campaign for Virginia Governor". epolitics.com. 
  6. ^ Young, Chris. "Campaigns master new media tools," Richmond Times Dispatch, Oct. 31, 2009.
  7. ^ Ham, Mary Katharine. "Techno-GOP; Web-savvy is no longer a monopoly of the political left," The Weekly Standard, April 26, 2010.
  8. ^ Vargas, Jose Antonio. Major Front in Va. Race Is Online. April 29, 2009
  9. ^ Killough, Ashley. Political logos define campaigns. June 29, 2011.
  10. ^ Tau, Byron. Obama faces brave new Web world. April 4, 2011.
  11. ^ Smith, Ben and Emily Schultheis. Targeted Web ads: The next frontier. Aug. 30, 2011.
  12. ^ Murrayand, Shailagh and John Wagner. "Text, tweet, win? Not so fast." The Washington Post. Oct. 8, 2010.
  13. ^ Nolan, Jim. "New media help, hinder politicians," Richmond Times Dispatch, March 21, 2011.
  14. ^ Herb, Jeremy. "In 2012, a new world for online campaigning," Star Tribune, April 11, 2011.
  15. ^ "Few Campaigns Experiment with Online Games, but 2012 Seen as Surge Cycle," Washington Internet Daily, Nov. 2, 2010.
  16. ^ "The Fine Print: Power Players," ABC News, Feb. 17, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dik67PwkNAg
  17. ^ Delo, Cotton. Promoted Tweets Flourish in U.S. Election Build Up. December 20, 2011.
  18. ^ Gingrich engages his "tweeples" on social media
  19. ^ "Ten Republicans to follow on Twitter," by Adam Mazmanian, National Journal, August 27, 2012, Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  20. ^ "Politico", News, Ted Cruz’s secret: Mastering social media, 2012.
  21. ^ The Daily Dot, Mitch McConnell and the Republican meme machine, By Fidel Martinez, May 03, 2013
  22. ^ Steven, Friess. "The Man Who Invented the Republican Internet". https://www.bloomberg.com/. Bloomberg Politics. Retrieved Oct 22, 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  23. ^ Ashley, Killough. "First on CNN: Rand Paul hires Ted Cruz's digital guru". CNN Politics. CNN. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  24. ^ Kornbluh, Jacob. "Likud Campaign Hires GOP Digital Media Guru Vincent Harris". Jewish Political News & Updates. 
  25. ^ Brynes, Jesse. "Top Rand Paul aide working on Bibi’s reelection". The Hill. 
  26. ^ http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/04/rand-paul-2016-social-media-117132.html#ixzz3Y61TWlVg
  27. ^ http://m.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/article/2563183
  28. ^ Feldman, Josh. "Rand Paul Complained About His ‘Dumbass’ Live Stream While It Was Going On". Mediaite. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  29. ^ Terris, Ben. "I experienced the irresistible torture of watching Rand Paul’s campaign livestream". The Washington Post. The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  30. ^ Goldmacher, Shane. "Trump hires Rand Paul's former digital director". POLITICO. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  31. ^ Harris, Vincent. Twitter https://twitter.com/VincentHarris/status/747963547980865536.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ Boyle, Matthew. "Trump Campaign: Vincent Harris Not an Employee, Only Did Project Work Through Subcontractor". Breitbart News. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  33. ^ Robert, Moser. "The Man Who Invented the Educated Political Operative?". UT College of Liberal Arts. University of Texas. Retrieved 25 November 2014.