Magazine article Campaigns & Elections


Magazine article Campaigns & Elections


Article excerpt

Remembering Rich Savage

My friend, Democratic political consultant Rich Savage, took his life recently, and the horror of it is that I can imagine why he did it. It's important that those of us who make a living in politics understand this so that we can take better care of each other.

I know tons of people, but Rich was one of my best friends. We stayed at each other's houses, shared intimate details of our lives, and did our best to rid the world of whiskey one glass at a time. When he won his first Pollie award for a direct mail piece that used my research, he made sure to get an extra trophy for me- a unique kindness in my two decades in this business.

But the best thing we did for each other was to commiserate about business pressures. We talked each other through the 2009 recession, told each other it would get better, and traded leads. We were unafraid about sharing our fears of ruin. We didn't pretend to feel strong. It was hard, and we told each other the truth. That helped.

Business turned bad for Rich again this year, and I got busy. He talked about looking for a job and shuttering his business, and I reassured him uselessly that things would work out. He'd call to talk, but I never reached out to him. I failed him. That's on me.

We need to do a better job as political consultants of bucking each other up. That's on you now.

Online Comments

In a recent post on our Campaign Insider blog, iPrecinct's Lillian D. Cavalieri noted the "culture of entitled frugality" that she sees gripping Republican state parties across the country. All too often, Cavalieri says, state parties are looking for consultants on the cheap- or even pro bono. In response, commenter Dan B. wrote: "The fact is state parties have to compete for resources nowadays and consulting firms have to weigh whether to work pro bono. …

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