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Exclusive Interview with Mark Squier, Executive Producer of Democratic National Convention

Executive Producer Mark Squier Gives DNC a 9 Out of 10

The Democratic National Convention, and the Obama-bump that followed, may seem far in the past, but the event will surely live on in history. I got a chance to ask a few questions to Mark Squier, an executive producer of the extremely successful (and fun) Democratic National Convention. When he's not coordinating massive political pageantry, Mark masters smaller-scale political messaging. He has produced ads for numerous members of Congress and governors, and acts as a strategic adviser to many more politicians. Now that the dust of both conventions has settled, take a behind-the-scenes look at the DNC with Mark!

On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you with how the DNC turned out?
10 being the highest — a 9. Nothing is ever perfect but this was close. When you consider we had a late primary so we didn't get guidance from a nominee until June — and we had two venues. We didn't have a major malfunction. You have to be happy with the way it turned out. And a shout out to everyone who worked at the Denver convention — the team that was put together was outstanding and it was easy to look good when you had such a committed and hardworking team in your corner. Oh — and not to mention Barack Obama — an incredible candidate to work with in every way.

How do you explain viewership that beat even the Olympics Opening Ceremony?
Americans are worried — it's human nature — they know things are on the wrong track; the wars, the economy, gas prices, health care costs, high unemployment, the national debt, the mortgage crisis. Voters feel these things every day and they know that this election is critically important to getting our nation back on track — so they watch.

To find out if Mark would have done something differently if Hillary Clinton would have won the nomination, how he kept the convention from looking like C-Span, what he thought of the RNC, and if there were any close calls with disaster,

.

How do you keep the convention from looking like C-Span?
By using the best of all technologies. Television is a great amplifier of communications but it is not interactive. The Internet and all the new technology tools are great for making people feel connected — but it can't compete with the visual spectacle of Thursday night at Invesco field with 80,000 people on television. Using them both — TV to entice and the new technologies to connect — we think really helped get voters to be more involved and take a stake in electing their office holders and their democracy.

You began working on the convention before the Democrats chose Barack Obama. How did the message, or your approach, change once he became the presumptive nominee?
Not a lot. Change has been the message and theme really since Democrats were elected to the majorities in the House and Senate in 2006. In fact, you can see that McCain himself has now gone from arguing experience to trying to be an agent of change with his pick of Governor Palin for VP. Voters are angry — they think the country is off on the wrong track — they want change.

What was the closest call with disaster backstage that the viewers at home had no idea about?
Not telling — but there were a couple.

How do you think the RNC went?
Well. The Palin pick for VP created a lot of curiosity and that drives viewership.

Source

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Shiloh-Jolie-Pitt Shiloh-Jolie-Pitt 7 years
Homes hadn't been foreclosed this much since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate is at an all-time high, and the Repubes haven't said anything of substance yet about how they're going to solve these and other problems. I guess whoever is in favor of mccain/palin are very happy with the way the country is being mismanaged now.
Shiloh-Jolie-Pitt Shiloh-Jolie-Pitt 7 years
Homes hadn't been foreclosed this much since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate is at an all-time high, and the Repubes haven't said anything of substance yet about how they're going to solve these and other problems. I guess whoever is in favor of mccain/palin are very happy with the way the country is being mismanaged now.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 7 years
I loved the DNC, it was a nice representation of America (not just elderly white people and cowboys with sprinklings of black folk) and if you're saying we had lame chants (I think Drill Baby Drill, is completely ridiculous). The RNC was nothing but bashing Obama/community organizers, blatant lies, and scaring tactics.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 7 years
How many slogans should Obama have?
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 7 years
I heard the quote and I thought it was great and also very true!
sashak sashak 7 years
Hell YEAH I heard that! And I laughed my ass off! Personally, I find it interesting that the McPalin ticket's version of "change" is more "I changed my mind about that & I'm going to continuously lie about it" rather than actual substantial changes in policy. And why, exactly, is a campaign limited to one slogan? Is it in the fine print of the McCain-Fiengold campaign finance bill?
sashak sashak 7 years
Hell YEAH I heard that! And I laughed my ass off!Personally, I find it interesting that the McPalin ticket's version of "change" is more "I changed my mind about that & I'm going to continuously lie about it" rather than actual substantial changes in policy.And why, exactly, is a campaign limited to one slogan? Is it in the fine print of the McCain-Fiengold campaign finance bill?
geebers geebers 7 years
I never heard that quote from Hil but that is really hilarious. I am SO using that to piss off my conservative friends hahaha.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 7 years
Change and McCain -- just don't fit. But Same and McCain do.I love that quote from Hill.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 7 years
Change and McCain -- just don't fit. But Same and McCain do. I love that quote from Hill.
Candybee Candybee 7 years
Did anyone hear Hillary's comment yesterday about returning Republicans to the White House "is like asking the iceberg to save the Titanic." Love that! :rotfl: Having Republicans in the White House again, to me is the opposite of "change".
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 7 years
If want change the McCain is deffinalty your man!!
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 7 years
And here we go....
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 7 years
And here we go....
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
I am not mad. I just want a change..oops. sorry my bad....i want to transmogrify.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
I thought Obamas slogan was "yes we can" its also "change?" can he have two? what about "8 is enough" thats three, but thats not his platform, change is right? so note to McCain, must run the rest of your campaign without any direction towards Change, or using the word. because that makes you unoriginal FYI.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
I thought Obamas slogan was "yes we can" its also "change?" can he have two? what about "8 is enough" thats three, but thats not his platform, change is right? so note to McCain, must run the rest of your campaign without any direction towards Change, or using the word. because that makes you unoriginal FYI.
piper23 piper23 7 years
I'm not mad, I agreed with you about change resonating well. It seems to be working for us a little bit more at the moment, that's all I'm saying. I don't think CG is mad either. She's doing the exact same thing you guys were doing a few posts up - mocking the candidate. Surely you guys don't have the market on mocking the candidates like you do "change".
dreamsugar dreamsugar 7 years
And combined Obama/Biden have been in Washington -- longer than McCain/Palin. Same old talking points -- but it's true -- nothing to get mad over.
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 7 years
campaign sorry
dreamsugar dreamsugar 7 years
Touchy
dreamsugar dreamsugar 7 years
Touchy
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 7 years
campaign sorry
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 7 years
When someone basis their entire campaine on a word and they make it their slogan it is a little undremining to start using it as your own. Didn't the GOP call John Kerry a flip flopper for doing the EXACT same thing that McCain is doing now?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
And since McCain has been in washington longer, and probably used that word long before barry, he should have first dibs(lord baby jesus I am in middle school now, "thats our word not yours" "copy cat")
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