Ford O’Connell is a political analyst and Republican strategist. A seasoned campaign veteran at the local, state and national levels, he served as an adviser on the 2008 McCain-Palin presidential campaign. Ford is a guest commentator on FOX News, CNN and other broadcast media; his political commentary/analysis has appeared in a variety of publications including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Associated Press, Reuters, The Washington Post, Washington Times, New York Daily News, U.S. News & World Report, The Hill, POLITICO, Investor's Business Daily, E! Online, People magazine and ESPN.com. Ford writes regularly for U.S. News & World Report and The Hill's Pundits Blog. He co-authored a weekly column for TownHall.com on redistricting and the importance of state legislative races during the 2010 election cycle. Every Tuesday morning at 8:35 AM ET, Ford can be heard on Fox News 92.5 FM's "Daybreak with Drew Steele" discussing the latest happenings on Capitol Hill and the 2016 campaign trail.
Mr. O'Connell's devotion to the conservative causes of limited government, free enterprise and personal responsibility were instilled in him by his grandfather, Henry Salvatori, a longtime Republican activist and advisor to three U.S. Presidents.
Ford’s experience with running the nationwide rural outreach program for the McCain-Palin 2008 presidential campaign and participation in numerous campaign get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts, including Haley Barbour’s gubernatorial campaign in 2007 and Saxby Chambliss’ 2008 senatorial runoff reelection, drives his focus on connecting the evolving capabilities of social media to the best practices of traditional voter outreach. In 2009, Mr. O’Connell co-founded ProjectVirginia to help Virginia Republicans implement innovative digital media and voter mobilization technologies, with the goal of increasing the Republican majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates. ProjectVirginia was recognized by Campaigns & Elections magazine for this effort, winning the inaugural Reed Award for “Best Use of Twitter” for its work on behalf of multiple campaigns during 2009. Mr. O’Connell was also named a 2010 Rising Star by Campaigns & Elections magazine for his work with ProjectVirginia.
A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law (Juris Doctor), Mr. O’Connell holds graduate degrees from the University of Mississippi (Master of Arts in Southern Studies), Duke University (Master of Public Policy) and Northwestern University (Master of Science in Journalism), and a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College where he was a member of the football, basketball and lacrosse teams.
Mr. O’Connell is currently the Chairman of CivicForumPAC and the Managing Director of Civic Forum Strategies. He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and The National Press Club. Mr. O'Connell also teaches at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.