POLITICAL CREATIVE 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 (R-Utah), 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 until his death in April 2022.
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 upcoming 1997 national convention in Orlando, Florida. At the convention, the senator asked Marie if he might correspond with her. Their conversations led to projects for the senator including writing for the senator and others including the Reverend Jesse Jackson; cover design, art direction, photo editing and manuscript review for several books, ongoing political advisory, and commissioned illustration.
Having discovered that Marie was in the forefront of Internet innovation as an online creator, the senator retained Marie in June 1999 to serve full-time as creative and Internet director and senior advisor for his late-entry 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 campaign donations at that time. 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. Marie continued to selectively work with members of Congress and state houses for many years before opting out of the professional political sector.
In 2003, Marie and newly minted Stanford grad CEO, Internet entrepreneur and social activist Steve Rosenbaum launched Politikos (no connection to the media enterprise Politico which was launched years later), 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, then-Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie and members of the House of Representatives. Interest quickly expanded to Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), mayoral candidates in the Pacific Northwest, the California Republican Party, 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 nascent 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?
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 university conclave for political consultants, agencies and government relationships professionals that year.