The group included general consultants for most of the competitive Senate campaigns, mail vendors, pollsters, TV buyers, principals at the top Republican digital and data firms, and NRSC leadership and staff. They met in the High Line room on the third floor, whose glass walls provided a view of the city on one side and the Hudson River on the other.
“I think there were more blazers in The Standard those two days than any other period of the hotel’s existence,” said Matt Lira, the NRSC’s deputy executive director.
The High Line summit was a table setter, a beginning. It did two things: it cleared away obstacles to greater cooperation among the GOP’s paid consultant class and between them and the NRSC, and it delivered a clear message to them that the NRSC was expecting the consultants to execute digital-savvy campaigns. But Lira, with the backing of NRSC executive director Rob Collins and political director Ward Baker, was going to do more than just ask. He was determined to hold the campaigns accountable.
So Lira assembled a team to do just that. In March, he hired Mindy Finn, a well-respected digital strategist who had worked on multiple presidential campaigns and also as an executive at Twitter’s D.C. offices. Finn’s sole responsibility was to create what she named the R.E.D.D. program, short for Republicans Excelling at Digital and Data.