Mr. Shirley has been professionally involved in American politics and government for almost three decades. He has worked in government and on campaigns at the congressional, gubernatorial, and presidential levels. A graduate of Springfield College, Mr. Shirley’s fields of specialization include strategic public relations, crisis management, marketing, and government affairs, as well as political consulting and government affairs. He was honored as the school’s “Outstanding Alumnus of 2005.”
Mr. Shirley is the bestselling author of Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All. The book, which analyzes Ronald Reagan’s pivotal 1976 presidential campaign, was released by Nelson Current Publishing in January 2005. Favorable reviews of the book appeared in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, and The Weekly Standard among dozens of others. Reagan’s Revolution also scored a spot on The Washington Post’s bestsellers list. A documentary based on the book is currently in production. Mr. Shirley is now working on his second book that details Reagan’s 1980 Campaign.
In 1987, Mr. Shirley and David Keene formed Keene, Shirley & Associates, Inc. During the five year association, he tripled the billings for Keene, Shirley & Associates, ran a major advertising and public relations campaign supporting President Bush and Operation Desert Storm, successfully represented the Embassy of the State of Kuwait, and was placed in charge of public relations for an international conference on democracy hosted in Prague by President Vaclav Havel of then Czechoslovakia. In 1992, Mr. Shirley re-opened Craig Shirley & Associates. In addition to working with a host of political, corporate, and trade concerns, Mr. Shirley served as an informal advisor to the 1996 campaign of Republican Presidential nominee Sen. Bob Dole. In 2000, the firm provided in-kind support to the presidential campaign of then Governor George W. Bush as well as the Florida recount. In that same year, Craig Shirley & Associates became Shirley & Banister Public Affairs with the promotion of Diana Banister from vice president to partner.
Mr. Shirley’s past efforts include the Fund for America’s Future, the political action committee of Vice President George Bush. Mr. Shirley worked closely with the future President George W. Bush, organizing conservative support for his father’s 1988 presidential bid.
During the 1984 campaign, he was the Director of Communications for the National Conservative Political Action Committee, America’s largest independent political committee, which spent over $14 million on behalf of President Reagan’s re-election.
As Communications Advisor to the Republican National Committee in 1982, Mr. Shirley traveled across the country advising dozens of campaigns and state committees on public relations, political advertising, and campaign strategy.
In 198l, Shirley served as an account executive with a major New York advertising firm. There he managed and supervised agency programs for the New York Racing Association and other high profile clients.
In 1980, he directed the Fund for a Conservative Majority’s $750,000 independent expenditure campaign in support of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign. In 1978, Mr. Shirley served as press secretary to U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey on his upset win in New Hampshire and came with the Senator to Washington, D.C. to serve on his Capitol Hill staff.
Mr. Shirley is a frequently sought-after commentator and speaker by the national media on politics, ideology, and Washington and has appeared on national television including C-SPAN, CNBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, FOX News Channel and others. Mr. Shirley also lectures at various seminars and has contributed articles to numerous publications including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, USA Weekend, Campaigns and Elections, The Weekly Standard, Conservative Digest, and Insight Magazine. He currently holds membership on the boards of the American Conservative Union, Campaigns & Elections magazine, the United Seniors Association, the Northern Virginia Youth Lacrosse League, and the Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association. He has also edited two books, the first, by Vic Kamber and Brad O’Leary, entitled Are You a Conservative or a Liberal? and Coaching Youth Lacrosse, published by the Lacrosse Foundation.
Craig Shirley resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Zorine, and their four children. He and his family enjoy sailing and other aquatic activities at their river home, familiarly known as “Trickle Down Point,” in Lancaster, Virginia.
Only a few saw Reagans potential for greatness in the 1960s and 1970s and even after the election of 1980, many in the political classes thought he would be just another failed president following LBJ, Nixon and Jimmy Carter.
Within those victimized (and now vindicated) Tea Party groups is rage but also a sense of satisfaction that they have been proven correct.
John McCain’s presidential campaign manager from four years ago, Steve Schmidt, has compared the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to the “Star Wars bar scene.”
Newt Gingrich is getting attacked again by the redundant liberals at the Washington Post. Yawn.
As of the last count by the Associated Press several years ago, there had been over 900 books written about Ronald Reagan. In the last several years, more have been added and given the abiding interest in the Gipper, one can be assured that many more are in the offing.
After reading the coverage in the Washington Post over the past two weeks of the legacy of Ronald Reagan, many Reaganites don't quite recognize the man who drew then into the movement as presented in the venerable paper.
Being here in Simi Valley this weekend at the Reagan Library, looking at all the displays, all the history, all the memorabilia, all the testimonies and all the thousands of people who travel off the beaten path to journey to this, his last resting place, it suddenly dawned on me. There is no one Reagan legacy.
As the Beach Boys once sang, today is the day for heroes and villains.
Now is the time to confront the brutal truth of what is wrong with the Republican Party.
Elitist contempt is now manifesting itself over John McCain choice of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin.
Every four years, the sun dawns over the “silly season” of pre-convention blather in Washington, centered mostly, on the Vice-Presidential slot.
Sir George Bernard Shaw once said, "If you can't hide the skeleton in your closet, then you'd better learn how to make him dance."
September 18, 1793, in a Masonic ritual, George Washington laid the cornerstone to the U.S. Capitol along with a dedicatory silver plate.
No one will ever know for sure, but given his principles and intellectual courage, one could imagine why Reagan might also have found fault with the “Marriage Amendment” to the Constitution supported by some Republicans.
In his now infamous “Malaise” speech in 1979, Jimmy Carter demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of his country and his countrymen. It was the tipping point for his presidency. Last week, President Bush had his own malaise moment.
Aspirants to the mantle of Ronald Reagan will gather tonight at his presidential library to debate who among them is his most worthy heir. One person who won't be participating in the debate in Simi Valley is the incumbent President.
Conservatives gathering this weekend in Washington at a summit sponsored by National Review magazine will be pondering their movement's future, inside the GOP, separate from the party or even if it has a future.
Scientists discovered recently that elephants can indeed see their reflection in a mirror but it was not reported whether or not they could also peer into their political souls.
"There's no crying in baseball!" With the midterm elections almost upon us, conservatives need to take that to heart. They won't win by quitting.