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Bob Shrum

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Title: Bob Shrum  
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Subject: John Kerry presidential campaign, 2004, List of The Colbert Report episodes (2007), Categories for deletion/Category:U.S. campaign managers, Labour Party (UK) officials, People from Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Collection: 1943 Births, American Campaign Managers, American Columnists, American Journalists, American Male Journalists, American Male Writers, American Memoirists, American Political Consultants, American Political Writers, Democrats (United States), Georgetown University Alumni, Harvard Law School Alumni, Labour Party (Uk) Officials, Living People, People from Fayette County, Pennsylvania, People from Los Angeles, California
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Bob Shrum

Robert M. Shrum (born 1943) is an American political consultant, who has worked on numerous Democratic campaigns, including the losing presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry. In eight elections (for either the presidential nomination or for the presidency itself), Shrum's candidates have never won. Shrum wrote the famous speech Ted Kennedy gave at the 1980 Democratic National Convention conceding to and supporting President Jimmy Carter.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • Political career 2
    • Speechwriter 2.1
    • Political consultant 2.2
      • Presidential campaigns 2.2.1
      • Non-presidential campaigns 2.2.2
  • Journalism 3
  • Academic career 4
  • Memoir 5
  • Personal life 6
  • Media 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Shrum was born in the policy debate championship, the National Debate Tournament). He later received a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.

Political career


Shrum began his political career as a Ted Kennedy and wrote the famous speech[4] Kennedy gave at the 1980 Democratic National Convention.

Political consultant

Presidential campaigns

In 1986, Shrum began work as a political consultant, designing campaign advertising and message strategy for Democratic candidates at the presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial levels. He worked for the general election.

In 1992, Shrum worked for Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, who was defeated for the nomination by Bill Clinton.

In 2000, Shrum helped electoral vote.

In 2004, Shrum worked on George W. Bush.

Critics often point out a "curse" associated with the presidential campaigns that Shrum has worked on, since he has yet to claim victory for any of his candidates in eight presidential elections.[5]

Non-presidential campaigns

Since 1985, Shrum has conceived and produced advertising (TV, radio, print) for twenty-six winning U.S. Senate campaigns; eight winning campaigns for Governor; the Mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Dade County and San Francisco, and the Democratic Leader of the United States House of Representatives. Those winning Senate campaigns include those of Alan Cranston in 1986 and John Edwards in 1998, as well as victories for Barbara Mikulski, Jack Reed, Tom Harkin, Jon Corzine, Harris Wofford, and many others.

In 1994, the year of the "Gingrich revolution," Shrum worked on behalf of two of the few bright spots in a tough year for the Democrats: Chuck Robb's victory over Oliver North in Virginia, and Ted Kennedy beating back a challenge from Mitt Romney. Shrum has also worked for the Israeli Labor Party's Ehud Barak and the British Labour Party.


Shrum is a regular columnist for The Week magazine's website along with his conservative counterpart, David Frum. As a journalist, Shrum’s work appeared in New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The New Republic, among other publications.

He was a columnist for the on-line magazine Slate.

Academic career

Shrum has been a Senior Fellow at New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where he taught a class on domestic policy formation and analysis. He also taught an undergraduate seminar to freshmen on Presidential debates and speeches since the 1960s.

He now holds the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at the University of Southern California.[6] At USC, Shrum hosts regular talks, called "Political Conversations," with individuals from every side of the political sphere. The events are open to all students at the university.


Shrum has written a political memoir entitled No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner, published in June 2007. It has received attention in the media for its less than flattering portrayal of Shrum's former client, John Edwards.[7]

Personal life

Shrum is married to Marylouise Oates, a writer and former columnist for The Los Angeles Times. He has one stepson, the television writer Michael Oates Palmer.


Shrum's firm, Greenberg Carville Shrum (GCS), was featured in the 2005 documentary Our Brand Is Crisis depicting its work campaigning for Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada during the 2002 Bolivian presidential election.


  1. ^ American Rhetoric
  2. ^
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ American Rhetoric
  5. ^ Washington Post 9 September 2004
  6. ^ 
  7. ^

External links

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