11/19/15, "Politico Hires Brad Dayspring, Veteran G.O.P. Operative, as Spokesman," NY Times, Nick Corasaniti
"Politico is expanding at an aggressive pace, with new outlets opening from Brussels to New Jersey. And now they’re hiring a communications expert with the same aggressive pedigree.
The growing news organization has hired Brad Dayspring, the outspoken and occasionally combative Republican political operative with a notorious Twitter feed, to be their vice president of communications.
“We have always thought of Politico like a political candidate,” Kim Kingsley, Politico’s chief operating officer, said in a memo that was to be sent to the staff on Thursday night and that was provided to The New York Times. “One that needs a carefully managed and consistent message, a great offensive strategy and a clear path ahead.”
“So in that respect, Brad was born for this job,” she wrote.
The position is a new one at Politico, one that Ms. Kingsley and Jim VandeHei, chief executive and co-founder of Politico, said was necessary as the organization evolves into a global media company. Mr. Dayspring will oversee the entire communications portfolio and operation at Politico: promotion, booking, publicity and, yes, defending the brand against attacks. And his new employers seem to be looking forward to that.
“Brad is an unapologetic agitator, and we see that as a tremendous asset,” Ms. Kingsley said.
In an interview, Mr. Dayspring described the opportunity as an amalgamation of his loves – politics and policy – and the opportunity to represent them at a news organization, or a “nonideological” setting instead of through a candidate, was intriguing.
“I was looking for a new challenge,” he said, after 15 years on “the other side of the table.”
Mr. Dayspring comes to Politico after more than a decade as a Republican political operative, where he made a name for himself for his passionate, and occasionally aggressive, style. A near physical altercation lead to his leaving his position as deputy chief of staff for then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor. And his ever-present Twitter persona littered the feeds of reporters and operatives, barking back with spin, humor, attacks and the occasional snark.
His style rubbed some of the conservative wing in his party the wrong way in recent years, in particular during the primaries of the 2014 midterm cycle. Mark Levin, the conservative radio host, accused him of engaging in “sleazy inside-the-beltway tactics,” after Mr. Dayspring criticized him on Twitter. And Stu Rothenberg, the independent pollster, has attributed his style to “verbal combat” and said he “acts as if every battle is a nuclear war.”
Mr. Dayspring saw that conflict as part and parcel of the job he was in at the time. “If you’re taking flak, you’re somewhere near the fight, which has been my role for the last several years,” he said. He toned down his style in his most recent job as a senior adviser to Gov. Scott Walker’s PAC.
In his role at Politico, Mr. Dayspring will still be expected to maintain the quick response that drives his constant presence on social media.
“I think one of his many tricks in his bag is he does understand the speed and different dimensions of communication now, and you’ve got to be quick and smart on all those platforms,” Mr. VandeHei said in an interview.
As for the sometimes aggressive tone in his Tweets? Mr. Dayspring sees that mellowing. Slightly.
“First and foremost, it’s staying on offense and promoting what is Politico’s expansion and innovation,” he said. But, he added: “Tonally, I think you certainly have to adapt. Let’s say: professional, sophisticated and quick.
“And aggressive when needed.”"