Daniel Franklin is a senior VP at the Benenson Strategy Group. From '07-'08, he was responsible for managing the polling for BSG's work on the Obama WH '08 campaign, and he led the firm's polling for the DCCC's IE campaign team. At BSG, Franklin has also led the polling efforts for Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D). Prior to joining BSG, Franklin was a speechwriter for ex-Senate Maj. Leader Tom Daschle and ex-Md. LG/'02 GOV nominee Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D). But today, he is our Consultant Candid.
What was your first job?
The summer I was 14, I worked in a packaging plant for an educational publishing company. I sat at a table and filled three-ring binders with the materials for teachers' guides for 7 1/2 hours a day for $3.50 an hour. More than a few brain cells died a pointless death that summer.
What is your proudest moment professionally?
The day after the 2008 Presidential election, I overheard two elderly African American women on the subway talking about how they still didn't really believe Barack Obama was elected. I still feel very proud to have been a part of something that changed so many people's view of their own country.
If you could be in any other line of work, what would it be?
Either a general contractor, or I'd own a barbecue joint. And I'd live in Wyoming.
Of what political campaign (past, present or future) would you most like to be a part?
Easy. Robert F. Kennedy's run for president in 1968.
What individual who does your kind of work for the other party do you respect the most, and why?
Bill McInturff. He's principled and a creative researcher. I've been lucky to work with him on bipartisan research projects and have learned a great deal from his work.
Negative campaigning -- good or bad?
Good and necessary. There are some bad people who would do bad things to this country if they ever had the power to do so. There's nothing wrong with pointing that out.
What is your favorite restaurant to meet clients?
Not sure about that, but the first client who asks me to meet him or her at Ben's Chili Bowl will instantly become my favorite client.
What is the first section of the newspaper you read?
Sports. What kind of question is that?
A question from last week's participant, Chris Russell of Chris Russell Consulting: Has working on political campaigns made your more cynical about government and politics in America?
On the contrary. My parents don't believe me, but the people I have worked with on campaigns are the least cynical, hardest working, most selfless and honorable people I have ever met in my life.