At a Glance
- Career History:
Deputy campaign manager for
's presidential campaign (2006 to 2008); Campaign manager for Sen.
(2003 to 2004); Campaign manager for Sen.
(2001 to 2002); State director for Iowa for Vice Presiden
t Al Gore
's presidential campaign (1999 to 2000); EMILY's List (1997 to 1999);
Political director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
(1995 to 1996)
- Alma Mater:
South Dakota State University
326 E. 8th Street, Suite 105, Sioux Falls, S.D. 57103, 605-221-4363
- Web site
Path to Power
Hildebrand grew up in Mitchell, S.D., as the youngest of nine
children. His father, who worked on road construction, died in an
accident when Hildebrand was 5-years-old, leaving his mother to
raise the children.
Hildebrand went to South Dakota State University. After college,
he took a job with then-Rep. Daschle (D-S.D.) as state financial
director during Daschle's successful 1986 Senate campaign.
Hildebrand has worked on political campaigns ever since. He worked
for Minnesota Attorney General Skip Humphrey (Democratic
Farmer-Labor Party) in his 1988 bid for Senate, and Ted Muenster
(D-S.D.) in a failed 1990 Senate bid. In 1994, he worked for
unsuccessful South Dakota gubernatorial candidate Jim Beddow (D).
After Obama's 2008 victory, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza
called Hildebrand and Tewes two of the biggest winners of the 2008
election. "It's hard to find two more self-deprecating
political operatives than Hildebrand and Tewes - the duo who helped
build and execute the massive ground operation that led Obama to
victory in the primary season and to wins in closely contested
general election states like Florida, Ohio and Virginia." He
called the ground game "THE story of the post election
For the stunning win by the first-term Illinois senator,
Hildebrand credits Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, chief
strategist David Axelrod and his team of organizers "who are a
lot smarter than me." But Hildebrand has gotten credit for
creating a state-of-the-art political operation in all 50 states
during the 2008 campaign, even if those states typically voted
Republican. This "50-state strategy," as it was dubbed,
helped Obama win 847 delegates on Super Tuesday , 13 more than
Clinton, despite the fact that Clinton won the big states like
California, New York and New Jersey.
During the 2008 campaign, Hildebrand reported to campaign manager
David Plouffe and senior adviser David Axelrod. He also worked with
Iowa state director Paul Tewes, a longtime colleague, to develop the
get-out-the-vote effort in Iowa.
Because of his work with Sen. Tom Daschle, Hildebrand is a
familiar face to many top officials in the Obama political and
policy network, many of whom are now in the White House. He worked
on Daschle's 2004 Senate campaign with top Obama White House aides
Pete Rouse, Dan Pfeiffer, Phil Schiliro, Sarah Feinberg, Chris Lu
and others. DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse was at the
DSCC during that 2004 election cycle. White House Press Secretary
Robert Gibbs was press secretary for the Democratic Senatorial
Campaign Committee during the 2002 cycle, when Hildebrand was
running Sen. Tim Johnson's (D-S.D.) re-election campaign.
Hildebrand has personally donated $20,000 to political campaigns
since 2000. All of it went to either Democratic candidates or
left-leaning groups like the DNC and EMILY's List.