Administrative staff, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Fundraising, Kennedy, Edward M., U.S. Senate campaign (1986)
Audrey Sheppard was born on July 31, 1948, in Newton-Wellesley, Massachusetts; her mother, Annabel, married Jack Sheppard, Jr., during Audrey’s infancy after the death of Audrey’s father. She attended Syracuse University, where she studied journalism and political science. After graduation, she worked at Brandeis University and then as a paralegal at a Boston law firm. She worked for the McGovern presidential campaign of 1972, spent some time working on Capitol Hill, and then went to Rothstein/Buckley, a political consulting firm. She later started her own political consulting firm that focused on women candidates. Between 1981 and 1987, she served as assistant executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).
Interview includes discussion of: family and educational background; working at Rothstein/Buckley and the Muskie reelection campaign; first impressions of Mitchell; Budget Committee work; the changes and similarities between campaigning in 1976 and campaigning now; working at the DSCC for six years; the mission of the DSCC and the strategy that they adopted during Sheppard’s time there; developing both sides of the DSCC’S responsibilities – fund-raising and technical assistance – and the increasing effectiveness of their efforts through the 1986 elections when Senator Mitchell was chair of the Committee; the structure of the DSCC and how appointments were made; relations between the DSCC, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC); opposition research; fund-raising and the Democratic Senate Leadership Circle; the internal organization of the DSCC and the division of various tasks; candidate recruitment and the recruitment committee that Mitchell helped start and served on; the 1986 election; Mitchell’s leadership style; the Elizabeth Taylor joke; Mitchell’s swearing in new citizens; an anecdote about Ted Kennedy going for a swim before an event on the Maine coast; the degree to which protocol and neatness were important to Mitchell; and Sheppard’s hope that Mitchell would be appointed secretary of state under Clinton.
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