The consulting world is mourning the death of Doug Bailey, a former political adviser to Gerald Ford and media pioneer.
The Hotline, which was founded by Bailey and Democratic strategist Roger Craver in 1979, reported he passed away Sunday night at the age of 79. As news spread through the political world, consultants remembered an experienced tactician who left his mark on campaigns.
“One of the first things I learned from Dr. Bailey, in the mid-1980s, was the importance of a written campaign plan,” GOP consultant Will Feltus, who interviewed Bailey in April 2012 for an upcoming book titled Campaign Manager: Understanding Elections through the Eyes of Political Professionals, tells C&E. “‘If you can’t write it down, you don’t know it,’ was something he often said.”
According to The Hotline, Bailey’s roster of clients was a who’s who of moderate Republicans including New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, then-Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, New York City Mayor John Lindsay, Sens. Charles Percy (Ill.), John Danforth (Mo.),Howard Baker (Tenn.) and Richard Lugar (Ind.). He left politics in the 1980s, he told Feltus, because “it had gotten so negative.”
Joe Trippi, a Democratic consultant, said Bailey “had heart & idealism.”
“I was blessed to know and learn from Doug Bailey. Always head of his time & gone too soon. RIP,” he tweeted.
GOP consultant Mike Murphy called him “a true status quo disrupter and very creative thinker.” Murphy tweeted: “Hotline was revolutionary, changed media. And he loved politics.”
Texas GOP consultant John Weaver called Bailey “a positive force in this business.”
“Creative, smart, tough, for sure,” he tweeted. “But also in it for the right reasons: To govern.”
Democratic consultant Mo Elleithee wrote on Twitter: “I’ve been around long enough to remember anxiously waiting to pull Hotline off the fax machine every day… & loving it! RIP Doug Bailey.”
The Hotline, which Bailey sold to National Journal Group in 1996, said it will continue to publish tributes to Bailey on Wednesday.