Skip Nav
7 Feminist Moments From GOT Season 7 That Will Make You Damn Proud to Be a Woman
18 Sex-Filled Films to Stream on Netflix
Politician Swimsuits Are Here to F*ck Up the Beach — and We Can Already Feel the Bern

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.


Join The Conversation
Shiloh-Jolie-Pitt Shiloh-Jolie-Pitt 8 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 8 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 8 years
How many slogans should Obama have?
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 8 years
I heard the quote and I thought it was great and also very true!
sashak sashak 8 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 8 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 8 years
Change and McCain -- just don't fit. But Same and McCain do. I love that quote from Hill.
Candybee Candybee 8 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 8 years
If want change the McCain is deffinalty your man!!
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 8 years
And here we go....
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I am not mad. I just want a change..oops. sorry my bad....i want to transmogrify.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 years
campaign sorry
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 8 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 8 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")
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
So the word "change" and the meaning of that word, is now soley in the possession of the Democratic party , in particular Obama's only to use? What are most campaigns about? changing the bad things in washington, our nation, looking for change in the future, changing current policies...what on earth is McCain and Palin supposed to say instead? Can they use: Alter Modify Transform Adjust Amend revolutionize which one is okay with the word police?
piper23 piper23 8 years
I agree. Have you seen the polls lately? McCain is either ahead or dead even with Obama, depending on which poll you look at. Now that is change!
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
Changes resonates well - Palin's words and now their new campaign direction. You know you're on to something when the other side takes it as their own.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
DNC- McCain Bashing-yawn boring (insert emoticon here) Chanting "8 is enough" annoying Bash Bush-expected and old Tells us about "change" doesnt tell us exactly how. (end dependence in 10 years on oil dependence from middle east, raising teachers saleries, protect SSI, 150 billion in renewable resources, and how much?) Resorts to age old sayings "bootstraps" =lame "dont tell me that the democrats wont keep us safe..." also lame BUT again, it all depends on what camp you are from.
piper23 piper23 8 years
You can interpret what she said all day long but she never said she sold it. And I don't understand how a Governor changing their mind about a bridge that got too expensive is a bad thing.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
And also: "If our state wanted to build a bridge, we were going to build it ourselves." Watch an ex-aide defend Palin's position on the bridge » The line gets big applause when she repeats it on the campaign trail, but Palin was for the bridge before she became governor. After being elected, she was against it, saying the project was too expensive, but Alaska kept the more than $100 million Congress gave for the bridge.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
She it implied that that it sold on eBay. "I put it on eBay" implies that it sold or that she got rid of it in a progressive way. When all she did was hire some one to sell it for her and it sold at a loss -- and is in litigation -- which I'm sure is costing tax payers money.
Megan Couto Becomes First Woman to Captain the Queen's Guard
Funny #ThingsThatLeaveBritainReeling Tweets
Cecil the Lion's Son Dead
Chelsea Manning Nightline Interview on Being Transgender
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds