For Reggie Hubbard, George W. Bush’s invasion of
At the time of the invasion, Hubbard, was in
“I went to the carnivals in
“But when I was there the
Unable to shake off the images of the
As Kerry’s campaign gathered momentum, the Vlerick student was promoted first to the National Advance Team, which looks after the logistics of a campaign, and then became ground logistics coordinator travelling with Kerry and his then vice presidential candidate, senator John Edwards, visiting 4 to 5 states a day over a six month period.
Over a year later, Hubbard was on the road again, this time as a senior travel aide for Jim Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor for the state of
Around the same time, the movers-and-shakers in American politics began whispering about a certain
“Some friends in ‘Obama-land’ called me [to assist on] a product launch. It was the first time the senator had been [to
Working as a freelance advance consultant for the ‘Obama for America’ campaign, Hubbard orchestrated the logistics for a 2,500-person rally, a mammoth task which Hubbard compares to a Mission Impossible challenge.
“You’ve got to do everything from work with politicians to volunteers. You need to be mindful of how that event is going to be broadcast so as you are setting it up you have to have a mental picture of what the candidate looks like [...] who’s going to be in the backdrop you need to run the program, all this stuff is happening simultaneously,” says Hubbard.
“You work with the field staff to make sure people come to the event. When they get to the event you work with the volunteers to make sure all the people are taken care of, because if the people aren’t happy then it’s a bad event and that’s bad press. So that’s just the events aspect of it.”
Then there’s the overall political aspect, continues Hubbard.
“When the candidate is there [...] you are basically responsible for every aspect every minute of the schedule when they are on your site, tak[ing] them to meetings and work[ing] with their travel aides.”
“So if you are an adrenaline junkie and love attention to detail advance is for you,” adds Hubbard.
As for those wanting to enter into advance management, Hubbard says focus is the key:
“You’ve got to be extremely focused and just aware of everything [...] if you succeed no one cares because you are supposed to. If you fail, then it’s all your fault.”
Describing president Obama as “laid back and real mellow” Hubbard derives inspiration from Obama’s story and sees similarities between the two of them.
“He wasn’t the first in his family to go to [university] but he was in an unfamiliar environment attending an Ivy League school,” says Reggie, a Yale Philosophy graduate, commenting on the comparatively low numbers of African-Americans in Ivy League colleges compared with other minority groups.
He also credits Obama for improving the image of
After the successful nomination of Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate at the Democratic National Convention Committee in 2008, Hubbard began manoeuvring to change careers from politics to business.
Given the recent outcry from business leaders to Obama’s financial reforms, it would seem that politics and business make for awkward bedfellows. Hubbard thinks otherwise:
“Politics and business need each other [...] business needs to thrive in order for politicians to benefit, but politicians set the laws, but business has to play by them,” says the former Obama aide.
Humble, modest and quite the Southern gent – Hubbard is from
But, is he still tempted to return to his political roots and launch a Hubbard for
“No,” he responds emphatically with a chuckle.
“I saw the intensity [and] had to keep the schedule in many ways.
“To be honest I don’t want that at the moment. I want to relax for a while [... and] work 13 hour days and not 20!” adds Hubbard who now has time to indulge his love of jazz and art.
Reflecting on his involvement in the campaign, Hubbard has fond memories of his colleagues and playing a “small part” in transforming history.
As for his personal success, Reggie Hubbard puts it down to a simple motto: “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity in life.”