An Interview With Richard McDaniel Political Strategist and Operative

Barbara's Flower Shop

By Taroue Brooks

Tell us about your company and services.  

A winning campaign is more than just choosing the right words or slogans–  it means having the right plan. My company, Enriched Strategies, is a robust campaign strategy, political, and social consulting firm that offers a comprehensive approach to building successful campaigns.

We excel in developing short, medium, and long-term plans, sourcing talented staff, and coordinating effective, fundraising, communications, digital, and grassroots organizing toward one goal: WINNING. We have vast experience at every level of politics in every region of the country, developing effective strategies that have helped elect presidents, Senators, Members of Congress, mayors, city councilors, state representatives, and judges.

What does Morehouse College mean to you?

One of the many things that Morehouse instilled in me is that “vision without infrastructure is a fantasy”. My decision to attend and subsequent experience at Morehouse helped shape the foundation of my commitment to serve my community. As an institution, Morehouse College prides itself on producing leaders with academic talent, intellect, and professionalism. We are encouraged to lead with our hearts as well as our heads. It is Morehouse’s mission as an institution and shared culture that has created a brotherhood like none other and many of this country’s torchbearers, leaders, and change agents. To form life long bonds and be a part of this brotherhood is a true gift in itself.

How did you get involved with politics? 

I have been involved in politics for the majority of my life. Growing up, my mom was an HR administrator for the Atlanta Public School System but, at times, she would moonlight as the School Board secretary, and, being a single mom, this meant that I spent countless nights in the office or sitting through school board meetings. It’s kind of where I learned to be a “fly on the wall”. So while most 8-year-olds were spending their evenings doing after-school activities, playing with friends, or just being at home, I was privy to and subconsciously learning about Robert’s Rule of order, policy, interdepartmental politics and the art of debating. My experience inadvertently set the foundation for when I entered  Morehouse, where I cut my teeth working on political campaigns both on and off campus.

Politics is a competitive industry,  how do you maintain your cutting edge?

 Leadership is not about the next election, but about the next generation. It is important that we continue to get better and improve upon how we serve the community, and the best way we do that is by learning  from both our accomplishments and our mistakes.  I am a firm believer in leadership development, and believe that it is one of my industry’s largest gaps. We neglect to pay it forward and build up the next generation of political leaders or operatives. I maintain my edge by striving to reach back and build up the next wave of leaders. Providing the opportunity for others to gain experience is the only way that we can continue to have true innovation and diverse representation at every level. There is a shortage of people of color serving in leadership roles in every faction of politics. So, it’s important to me to ensure that we give others the chance to learn and lean in.

What advice would you give someone who seeks to work in politics?

 Stay ready! Success happens when opportunity meets preparation. Politics is a “hurry up and wait” industry and when your name or number is called you must be prepared to rise to the occasion and answer that call. And Secondly, This is a team sport – you won’t always agree with how things are done or someone else’s point of view. But you will have a better chance of achieving a goal and being successful by working together.

Share with us one of your most proud accomplishments.

My proudest moment happened during the summer of 2010. I was one year out of college, I had just purchased my first home,  unable to find a job in my career, so I worked two part-time jobs to make ends meet.  My pastor charged me with the task of delivering the word to the congregation on a particular Sunday.Through the preparation and nervousness, I delivered my inaugural sermon titled “Blessings to the RIghteous” with many of my friends and family members there to show support. At the end of the service my mother walked up to me and bestowed a very rare gift. She uttered the words “you did an excellent job, and I am so proud of you”. Over my career, I have advised some of the greatest and most influential leaders of our time. But to me, those moments pale in comparison to the joy I felt in receiving a rare compliment from my mother. Honestly, a big part of what I do is because of women like her. Her ability to stare at the challenges in front of her being a woman, a Black woman, a single parent, and a working class professional in a world that devalues her worth, is motivation for me to ensure that I am a true representation of who and what she raised me to be.

What has been the most challenging aspect of your career?

Most people think the most challenging aspect of politics is dealing with a variety of egos and personalities, but this is a common denominator in every industry. For me, finding a work-life balance has been the most difficult skill to learn. You develop a tendency to get caught up in the fast paced, time consuming, and lifestyle of a social and political impact-motivated career that you forget to establish any separation between professional and personal life. Finding ways to stay centered is important because it helps keep you focused on the ultimate goal of making a positive impact on your community and the country.

Where would you like to see your business?

My goal has always been about preparing the next generation of leaders. My hopes are to continue to build and foster leaders that strive to be the change that they want to see in their community and the world. Building a legacy of change makers both as elected officials and  political operatives is the mark that I want to leave.

What are your thoughts for Biden/Harris to come out the gate strong?

In the past, the first 100 days of an administration has been a measurement on how the Commander in Chief will lead this nation during their term. The Biden/Harris Administration has been very ambitious in laying out the roadmap to stabilize this nation after four years of chaos and failed leadership. It is important to present strength, structure, and scalability, to not only the American public, but the world as well. Once they are able to develop a sustainable plan to get the country back on track, the administration can tackle the progressive platform that led them to a victory.

What do you feel will be the legacy of Trump?

I believe that his legacy will ultimately be defined by what transpired on January 6th at our Nation’s Capitol. No matter the outcome of the second Impeachment trial, the history books will forever read that Trump’s leadership – or lack thereof – lead to an assault on democracy itself. He committed treason, the highest crime in America and the ultimate failure in protecting the country from danger, foreign and domestic. What makes it even worse is that in his four years of service, Trump did not really accomplish anything aside from emboldening white supremacists and furthering political divisiveness in this country.

Social Media

Twitter: @MrRichMcDaniel

Instagram:@Mr_RichMcDaniel 

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