The True Character of a Spin Doctor?
Republican media whiz Donald Sipple has crafted campaigns for Bob Dole, George Bush and his son George W., and Pete Wilson. But do Sipple's attack ads mirror a hidden past, that of an obsessive, hot-tempered man who beat two former wives?
Regina Sipple wasn't going to lose her boy, not if she could help it. She hadn't returned to Missouri, to a small courthouse in rural Callaway County, in the middle of a steamy July, just to hand over her son to the father who, she claimed, used to forget the child's birthday. She didn't think he cared about the boy. Rather, she would say later, he just wanted to hurt her, like he used to hurt her.
Regina guessed that her ex-husband, Donald Sipple, one of the Republican Party's most successful political consultants, would do everything in his considerable power to portray her as a bad mother who didn't deserve custody of their son. In politics, Sipple was a master of manipulation -- that's why Republican senators and governors and presidential candidates had paid him millions. Sipple's skill at creating emotional and persuasive political advertisements had landed him jobs with some of the GOP's top figures, including Bob Dole, George Bush, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, and California Gov. Pete Wilson. Regina, by comparison, was a single mom struggling to raise a son -- 13 years, she and Evan had been alone together. Without a lot of money, without a lot of help -- just each other. Evan didn't even want to live with his father. He wanted to stay with his mother, in California, where he played football and tooled around with computers. But in Regina's experience, her ex-husband didn't hesitate to use the skills of manipulation in his private life as well as his public one, and she worried.