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Monday, March 16, 2015

Morning Read: The Norwich Native Behind Clinton's Campaign

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 9:15 AM

click to enlarge Robby Mook - FILE: MARC NADEL
  • File: Marc Nadel
  • Robby Mook
Robby Mook, Vermont's 35-year-old political wunderkind, has been racking up press clippings as he prepares to manage former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. 

On Sunday, he made A1 of the New York Times. A profile penned by national political reporter Amy Chozick characterizes the Norwich native as a level-headed data geek with a "goofy sense of humor" and a "killer impersonation of [former president Bill] Clinton."

Mook's toughest assignment, Chozick writes, will be to humor the candidate's vast stable of loyalists and advisers — the former president included — while keeping her campaign focused and disciplined:

Part of why Mr. Mook landed the job was that in 2013, as the campaign manager for Terry McAuliffe — a close friend to Mr. Clinton who is now governor of Virginia — he deftly nurtured the Clintons’ vast network of friends with frequent phone calls, but did not get distracted by the noise and drama that often attaches itself to the couple.

“Eighty percent of it is people just want to be heard, and Robby was always available,” said Tina Flournoy, chief of staff to Mr. Clinton.

He particularly impressed Mr. Clinton, who may be the ultimate strategist of his wife’s 2016 campaign. The former president checked in often about specific districts or counties, but Mr. Mook did not change course based on his influence, said Mr. McAuliffe, who compared him to “a horse in the Kentucky Derby” with blinders on.

For more on Mook's Vermont roots, check out Seven Days' September 2013 profile.

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About The Author

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz is a staff writer and political editor for Seven Days. He wrote the "Fair Game" political column from May 2012 through December 2016.


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