Posted June 18, 2004 12:00 p.m.
julianmulvey.com Featured in National Journal
“Image-Makers” Section Highlights Work, Vision
“All the world’s a stage.” The oft-quoted line from Shakespeare’s As You Like It certainly works as a punch line to describe Washington. But unlike some artistically challenged Beltway politicos, Julian Mulvey has actually contributed to a production on a real stage. Mulvey recently opened a Democratic media-consulting firm, Julianmulvey.com, and he has written a play that just opened in New York City called Rush’s Dream. The play is about how Benjamin Rush helped bring about the reconciliation between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Not surprisingly, Mulvey said, there are parallels between campaign work and the theater. He said a well-run campaign “has very clear divisions of labor, and everyone is working together to help a candidate move the ball forward.” Likewise, putting on a play requires everyone from the makeup artists to the lead actors to do their part in creating a smooth production. Campaigns and plays alike can stumble when the division of labor is not clearly defined and people wear too many hats, he observed.
Mulvey recently left Eighteenth Street Media, a political media firm, where he was a founding partner. In the 2000 election cycle, he was at Shrum Devine Donilon, a Democratic media firm that worked for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and six Senate races. Firm partner Tad Devine made a strong impression on Mulvey in the early 1990s at Boston University. Mulvey, who had just come to the United States from England to study American politics, was a student in a class that Devine taught at BU. “When I heard Tad talking about what it was that he did, I was like, ‘That’s exactly what I want to do in life,’ ” he said. After graduating from BU in 1994, Mulvey worked for C-SPAN before heading to Shrum Devine Donilon.
Mulvey, 32, grew up in Winchester, England, a town that has “a big cathedral and a lot of pubs, and that’s about it,” he joked. But Mulvey’s dad was an American studies professor, his boyhood upbringing was U.S.-influenced, and so his career plans began to take shape along those lines. “For a thousand reasons, there’s a stronger need for media in American campaigns than there is really in other campaigns around the world,” he said. “And it’s the blend of the political media that really, really interested me.” Julianmulvey.com will direct media strategy for several campaigns this year, including those of Democrats Capri Cafaro, in Ohio’s 14th Congressional District, and Joe Mayer, in Minnesota’s 1st. — G.S.