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. They jointly own a home in Cambridge, and prior to their marriage Hattaway adopted two sons, Nathaniel and Javier, who turned seven and 12 in 2004.
State Senator Barrios, the first openly-gay state lawmaker in Massachusetts, is a Harvard University- and Georgetown University-educated lawyer. Before graduating Harvard in 1990, Barrios led student demonstrations against allowing the ROTC to train future military officers on campus. Barrios' Cuban ancestors arrived in Florida (where Barrios was later born) prior to 1926 and became New Deal Democrats.
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 drown 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, using Democratic doublespeak as Gore spokesman during the Elian Gonzalez controversy. "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."
Hattaway has acknowledged that the establishment news media during the 2000 presidential campaign reported almost nothing about his sexual orientation. "But it would have," he said, "if I had become the White House communications director."
Vice President Gore lost in 2000, Hattaway has said, because he was seen as a gun control advocate. In 2004, when asked about how Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry of Massachusetts differed from President George W. Bush on guns, Hattaway told Associated Press: "Kerry is probably a better shot."
"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."
"Business…[is] the model we need to adopt at the DNC [Democratic National Committee] itself," Hattaway told New Deal while giving details of how impressed he was by the sophistication of Republican ideas, invocation of values, and communication skills. "Take a page out of the Republican manual and run it more like a business."
After Gore's defeat in 2000, Hattaway and his significant other in January 2001 visited Communist Cuba on what he described to the New England gay magazine Bay Windows as a "humane mission." Hattaway apparently was untroubled by Marxist dictator Fidel Castro's brutal history of imprisoning, torturing and executing gays merely for being homosexual.