Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Robert "Bob" M. Shrum (born 1943) is a retired Democratic political consultant best known for his work on a series of losing presidential campaigns (Ted Kennedy in 1980, Alan Cranston in 1984, Dick Gephardt in 1988, Bob Kerrey in 1992, Al Gore in 2000, and John Kerry in 2004), leading some to speak of the "Shrum curse" (but also of the "Shrum primary" in which presidential hopefuls courted him early in the primary process).
Shrum began his political career as speechwriter, first for George McGovern in 1972 and then for Ted Kennedy, for whom he wrote Kennedy's famous speech at the 1980 Democratic National Convention , which closed with the rousing lines: "For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
Despite his long string of failures at the presidential level, Shrum remains one of the most highly sought-after and highly paid political consultants in the United States (and internationally), having worked on the campaigns of hundreds of Democratic candidates for Congress, Governor, and other offices (where he has enjoyed far more success).
Born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania and raised in Los Angeles, Shrum is a graduate of Georgetown University (where he was a champion debater) and Harvard Law School. In January 2005, he announced that he was retiring from political consulting to become a senior fellow at New York University in order to write and to teach.
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