Doug Hattaway is a veteran Democratic candidate consultant and spokesperson.
In 2000 Hattaway was spokesman for the Vice President Al Gore/Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman campaign, and for Mr. Gore during the Florida recount controversy that continued for weeks following the 2000 election.
Doug Hattaway was born in 1964 and grew up in Tallahassee, Florida. After graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1986, he worked as a writer, political communicator and strategist. He worked in Washington, D.C. for a Florida member of Congress before completing a Masters Degree in English at Florida State University.
Following 9/11 Hattaway was spokesperson for then-Senator Tom Daschle, who until his election defeat in 2004 was the Democratic Party leader in the U.S. Senate.
In 1998 Hattaway was campaign spokesperson for New Hampshire Governor Jean Shaheen.
In 2004 Hattaway was communications consultant to Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Florida Betty Castor, who, as president of the University of South Florida, had resisted removing terrorist-linked Professor Sami al-Arian from her faculty. Castor lost the 2004 Senate race.
Hattaway, who is gay, is a consultant to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and is on the Advisory Board of the group 2020 Democrats. Hattaway played an active role in lobbying for same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. On November 19, 2004 Hattaway wed his companion of more than 10 years, Massachusetts State Senator Jarrett T. Barrios.
Hattaway dealt with a Cuba-related issue during the 2000 presidential campaign. President Bill Clinton seized from relatives and returned to Communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro a six-year-old boy, Elian Gonzalez, whose mother drowned trying to bring her son to freedom in the United States. Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore initially called for giving the boy asylum in the U.S., then took a variety of contradictory positions before falling silent on the issue. “[Vice President Gore] thinks it’s important to let those talks happen and let the process play out,” said Hattaway. “So he’s not going to make any statement. He understands that people disagree with his position, but he thinks it’s the right approach, and you have to let the chips fall where they may.”
After Gore’s defeat in 2000, Hattaway and and Barrios visited Communist Cuba in January 2001, on what Hattaway described to the New England gay magazine Bay Windows as a “humane mission.”
Gore lost in 2000, Hattaway reflected, because he was seen as a gun control advocate. “We need our own wedge issues….that will peel off people who are voting Republican who could be convinced to vote Democratic,” Hattaway told New Deal Magazine in February 2005. “I think the environment and protecting open spaces is important to a lot of rural people and people who hunt. We need more of them.”
Hattaway was a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton during the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries in 2008.