Rosen's War on Romney

Democrat who bashed Ann Romney has ties to White House, DNC

April 12, 2012

The Democratic strategist whose provocative attack on Ann Romney created a political firestorm Wednesday has a long history of advising the Democratic Party and related enterprises.

Liberal strategist and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen criticized the wife of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney as someone who "has never actually worked a day in her life." Liberals and conservatives alike were quick to denounce the comments.

Rosen initially dismissed the reaction to her comments as "faux anger" and refused to apologize, doubling down on her comments on Twitter, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She later issued a tersely worded apology to Ann Romney, in what she described as an effort to "declare peace in this phony war."

Democratic operatives Thursday struggled to distance themselves from their fellow Democratic operative, insisting that Rosen is not affiliated with the Democratic Party.

"Hilary Rosen is absolutely not a paid adviser to the DNC or to the Obama campaign," the committee’s executive director Patrick Gaspard said Thursday on MSNBC.

The facts suggest otherwise.

Since 2011, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has paid $120,000 to the lobbying firm SKDKnickerbocker, where Rosen works as a managing director. Records show that the money paid for the services of a "communications consultant" and a "media consultant."

There is reason to believe that the "consultants" are Rosen and former White House communications director Anita Dunn, another SKDK employee who is embroiled in a number of political controversies.

The Wall Street Journal reported in February that "seasoned Democratic female pros" Rosen and Dunn were enlisted help DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz "tone it down."

White House records reveal that Rosen has made at least 35 visits to the Obama White House, making her a more frequent visitor than Wasserman Schultz. She has previously worked as a staffer for a number of Democratic lawmakers including former Gov. Brendan Byrne (D., N.J.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.).

Politico noted that since graduating from George Washington University in 1981, Rosen has "never left Washington."

Since October 2011, Rosen has been identified as a "Democratic consultant" at least 20 times during her frequent appearances on CNN.

She currently serves on the board of the left-wing Center for American Progress Action Fund, the partisan arm of the Center for American Progress, both of which are supportive of President Obama and the Democratic Party.

CAP Action did not return requests for comment on their board member’s attack on Romney.

Her attack is merely the most recent in a string of controversies that have plagued Rosen’s entire career as a Washington political operative.

In 2010, Rosen was ousted as editor-at-large of the liberal news website Huffington Post, after it was revealed the Rosen was lobbying on behalf of the beleaguered oil company British Petroleum following the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which many blamed on the BP’s negligence.

As chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the early 2000s, she led the contentious effort to shut down Napster, the popular file-sharing network.