POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS and ADVISORY
IT STARTED IN APRIL 1997 WITH A SYNDICATED WOOLF EDITORIAL CARTOON WHICH LANDED ON THE DESK of U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch (1934-2022), who was the subject. A phone call to Marie from Hatch's press secretary, Paul Smith, asking for a signed print for the senator began an unlikely, close friendship that lasted for 25 years.
Senator Hatch accepted an invitation, extended by Marie on behalf of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, to keynote the major Saturday night event at the organization's 1997 national convention in Orlando, two months later. From there, the conversations led to projects for the senator including design, photo editing and manuscript review for several books, ongoing political advisory, design and commissioned illustration for his music CDs including collaborations with Grammy winning artists.
The senator retained Marie in June 1999 to serve full-time as creative and Internet director and senior advisor for his presidential primary campaign, on all aspects of campaign branding, design, collateral, writing including for speeches, and advisory. Woolf singlehandedly created all content for the campaign, including the "Skinnycat" character from Senator Hatch's idea to raise $36 million in single $36 donations from ordinary Americans (as opposed to "fat cats"). The campaign set a record for online donations in the incipient days of Internet campaigning. After Senator Hatch left the presidential race in January 2000, Woolf was retained to continue in this role for his successful U.S. Senate reëlection campaign that year.
In 2004, the George Washington University invited Marie to contribute two chapters and cover design for The Political Consultants’ Online Fundraising Primer (The George Washington University, 2004), and to speak at its conclave at the university that year.
Since 2001, Marie's campaign and advisory work has selectively continued through woolfmedia (.net) with members of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
DANCING IN THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW: In 2003, at the leading cusp of Internet politics (and long before the media startup Politico—no connection), Marie and newly minted Stanford grad CEO, Internet entrepreneur and social activist Steve Rosenbaum launched Politikos™, an interactive, customizable website, online fundraising and contribution reporting product. The template product, with add-ons, was offered from the U.S. presidential, Senate and Congressional to state, mayoral and local issues campaigns. Marie, who is politically unaffiliated, spent extensive time on this and other projects over the years with Senators Joe Biden, Edward M. Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, Jay Rockefeller, Max Cleland, Gordon Smith, Robert Bennett, Mike Crapo, Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie and members of the House. Interest quickly expanded to Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, mayoral candidates in the Pacific Northwest, and issues campaigns in California. Woolf and Rosenbaum enjoyed showcasing Abraham Lincoln as their "winning candidate." The presentation holds up remarkably well long after the incipient Internet's "webmasters," "search engine positioning," and page "hits." Not much has changed, though—despite social media and nonexistent "institutional voter memory" it always comes back to the candidate. UX, anyone?