What do these politicians have in common: Ohio Governor James Rhodes, Illinois Senator Charles Percy, Michigan Governor John Milliken, Maryland Senator Charles Mathias, Vermont Senator Robert Stafford and Rhode Island Senator John Chafee? First, they are all Republicans who have won their offices despite party disunity and the stain of Watergate. And second, their campaigns were largely the product of the two hottest hired guns the Grand Old Party can boast: Doug Bailey and John Deardourff.
Today the two men behind Bailey, Deardourff and Associates are thinking a year ahead, and already the trademarks of their company - complex "decision flow charts" and "cash flow budgets" - are being prepared for clients who want to win elections in 1978.
Since they formed their political consulting firm in 1967, Bailey and Deardourff have worked exclusively for "progressive" Republicans including General Ford soon after he won his party's nomination for the presidency. Television ads featuring the upbeat lyrics "Feeling good about America" and man-on-the-street interviews chipping away at Carter's lack of national experience were both Bailey-Deardourff productions credited with making the race close.
"We received some plaudits even though we lost," Dearfourff says, not unhappily.
When they win - and their firm claimed four victors in statewide elections during that Republican disaster year of 1974 - Bailey and Deardourff can point to campaign and media planning that would impress a Prussian general. A year before election day, the firm will provide a candidate a day-by-day plan including a timetable for everything from "hire secretary for press director" to "begin Wave III of newspaper ads." Along with the battle plan comes a cash flow chart detailing weekly expenditures for every facet of a campaign. Besides adding some order to the chaotic profession of politics, the precise budget impresses donors, Deardourff says.
Bailey and Deardourff make their money by providing three primary services under one roof: the elaborate timetable, a result of researching a client's district, coasts around $20,000 in a statewdie race; consulting during the campaign can run a couple of thousand dollars each month (the principals bill at the rate of $500 per day, while other hired talent, such as graphic artist Oren "Jack" Frost, can cost $300 per day); and Bailey, Deardourff takes a standard agency fee of fifteen per cent for placing the political ads designed by the company.
Success has placed Bailey and Deardourff in the pleasant position of not having to solicit for clients, and 1978 finds some old customers returning: Jim Thompson and Percy. A Republican running for the governorship of Pennsylvania, Robert Butera, and a candidate for the same job in Tennessee, Lamar Alexander, have signed contracts. Expected additional clients: Governor Rhodes of Ohio and Michigan Governor Milliken should he choose to run for reelection or try to capture the Senate seat Robert Griffin is leaving.
Winning recent elections has not been a luxury many Republicans have enjoyed. "It feels good," Deardourff said after the 1974 elections, "especially with all the destruction around us."