Dick Morris returns in new role

Tom Sileo Contributor
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Dick Morris, the former Bill Clinton consultant-and-confidant-turned-conservative-commentator, is trying on a new hat: Republican campaign surrogate.

Over the long arc of a career that has twice landed him on the cover of Time magazine, Morris has worked for prominent clients in both parties ranging from Ed Koch to Jesse Helms. He’s authored books, appeared regularly as a television commentator and served as a key political adviser to Clinton both in Arkansas and in the White House, all the while amassing a reputation as a brilliant, if cold-blooded, strategist.

But in his latest iteration, Morris has become something of a principal himself, headlining rallies, fundraising and advocating for Republican House candidates. He’s formally endorsed some of the party’s top prospects, raised money for a slate of GOP House hopefuls including David McKinley in West Virginia, and Bob Gibbs and Tom Ganley in Ohio, and even blasted out a message to his email list subscribers heaping praise on David Harmer, a challenger in a northern California-based seat.

House candidates who haven’t received material political benefits from Morris also report having informally discussed their races with the consultant and current Fox News commentator at conservative events.

“He’s found his place and he’s become important again. He’s found his place on the right,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist who has known Morris for decades and who credits Morris with helping him to land a job in the Clinton White House. “He’s emerged as a major exponent of the conservative Republican argument.”

In an interview, Morris conceded that after spending much of his career dispensing behind-the-scenes advice to political clients, he’s taken on a different role.

“This is a first for me,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve been as active in a nationwide campaign to this degree.”

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