- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2015

Amy Noone Frederick may be a fresh face on the national political scene as she works her first presidential campaign as a senior adviser to Carly Fiorina, but among conservative activists she is an unmistakably familiar force of nature.

Energetic and savvy with social media, the 37-year-old Mrs. Frederick has tirelessly worked conservative political and social circles for years, moving seamlessly from women’s issues to Virginia politics and tax issues affecting seniors.

At major conservative dinners in recent years, she often has sat on the dais or helped manage the gala behind the scenes. If there was a backdoor effort to advance conservative causes, she was likely at the strategy table in some fashion or on the sponsoring nonprofit organization’s board of directors.

Those far-reaching political connections landed Mrs. Frederick the plum assignment a few years back as head of the seniors advocacy group 60 Plus Association, where she helped organize and aid conservatives nearly twice her age and won accolades for helping arm the group with social media and grass-roots tools.

Mrs. Fiorina, 60, a former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, met Mrs. Frederick when they both served on the board of a powerful national conservative organization.

Now the candidate is banking on her senior adviser to convert her killer list of contacts and grass-roots savvy into national name recognition and financial support for Mrs. Fiorina’s feisty, upstart campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Mrs. Fiorina knows what she got when she brought Mrs. Frederick on board as a senior adviser for strategy and outreach: a political connector.

“I first met Amy at the American Conservative Union Foundation, where we served on the board together and where I was impressed by her deep relationships within the conservative community,” said Mrs. Fiorina, who was chairwoman of the board of the ACU Foundation. “She is a strategic thinker who isn’t afraid to take on a challenge and works hard to just get it done.”

Outsiders agree.

Carly has wisely identified Amy as a rare talent,” said elections and campaign finance lawyer Cleta Mitchell.

Added Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List: “Carly on her own is good, but way better with Amy.”

Before Fiorina 2016, the only election outings Mrs. Frederick had successfully managed were for her sailor-skier-pilot husband, Jeff Frederick, when he ran for chairman of the Virginia Republican Party and for the Virginia House of Delegates.

Now she works on a small senior team alongside campaign manager Frank Sadler, whose experience in politics includes work for the Koch brothers and Cove Strategies, run by former George W. Bush White House political director Matt Schlapp.

Mrs. Frederick confided that she was blown away by her role as a senior adviser to a national political campaign.

“My life has changed, not just because of the campaign but because of this wonderful relationship I have with Carly,” said Mrs. Frederick. “Never in my wildest dreams would I think that when I met her in the American Conservative Union boardroom years ago, we would develop a friendship and I would be working to help elect her president of the United States. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made in my career.”

Vast network of contacts

Mrs. Frederick adds value to the Fiorina campaign with connections that Mrs. Fiorina doesn’t have to other grass-roots political leaders around the country.

Besides her role as an ACU director, she serves on the board of the bipartisan National Foundation for Women Legislators. She is a member of the conservative Council for National Policy and for the past five years has run the 60 Plus Association as its president. She is now a consultant to the organization, which considers itself to be the conservative counterpart of the AARP.

Mr. Sadler, the Fiorina campaign manager, said Mrs. Frederick “has this network of conservative leaders around the country who will listen to her, and she has years of experience in the conservative movement. That’s invaluable to a campaign that is for conservatives.”

“We need a messenger who connects with the movement, and Amy is incredibly gifted at doing that,” he said.

Mrs. Frederick and her husband impress friends by being as committed to raising their three children as they are to politics, including dreaming up ways to create family outings around her political schedule.

She has been spotted more than once sitting in the front row of a conservative confab with her smiling children by her side. The young ones have been known to outperform adults in identifying famous political figures.

Mrs. Frederick once had her children star in a hilarious YouTube video played at a conservative dinner, a project that she crafted in between soccer games and family-night dinners.

Those who have watched Mrs. Frederick for years know why Mrs. Fiorina took the risk of choosing a relative election neophyte for such a senior job.

“Why Amy? Because she has grown a very respectable reputation for herself, has taken an organization like the 60 Plus Association and made it whole lot better,” said Mr. Schlapp, now the American Conservative Union chairman. “That’s hard to do in the conservative world.”

For political direct-mail pioneer Richard Viguerie, Mrs. Frederick brings to the Fiorina campaign unmistakable conservative credentials and a list of contacts that resembles the complex circuitry of a computer motherboard.

Mrs. Fiorina is mostly unknown to national, state and grass-roots conservatives,” said Mr. Vigeirie. “Amy as an articulate and respected conservative leader will be able to help introduce Mrs. Fiorina to many conservatives who otherwise might not have noticed her.”

For Mr. Viguerie, just as important as Mrs. Frederick’s role as a door opener for Mrs. Fiorina is Mrs. Frederick’s role as candidate sidekick with the right kick.

“Because there are too many Republican presidential candidates for conservatives to study in detail, having national conservative leaders around you in a senior position sends important signals to conservative voters,” said Mr. Viguerie, who was at the founding of modern conservatism, with William F. Buckley Jr., M. Stanton Evans and others in the early 1960s.

Amy’s leadership of 60 Plus has given her the experience to help Mrs. Fiorina receive a fair hearing from conservatives,” Mr. Viguerie said.

‘Determined to make a mark’

Even in Washington, where overachieving is the norm, Mrs. Frederick’s drive is remarkable. She lived out of her car when she first breached the walls of the city in search of success.

“I graduated from Franklin and Marshall in 2000 with a degree in government, landed a job right away as a secretary at the 60 Plus Association in D.C. and made my title “administrative assistant” once I got into town. I was determined to make a mark.”

She packed up her Subaru, got $20 from a family friend and drove to Washington with a job under her belt — but no place to stay.

“So I crashed between couches and even my Subaru’s front seat until I responded to a ‘roommate wanted’ ad in the City Paper.”

“A Reuters reporter (male) was looking for a roommate,” she said. “I was among 100 people to visit his place that day. I knew I needed to set myself apart from the pages of names and numbers he had written down on a yellow legal pad.

“So, I said to him, ‘Randy, I’ll furnish your entire apartment if you let me be your roommate, and I’ll do all the cleaning if you buy the vacuum and supplies,’” she said. “That put me to the top of the list, and the rest is history. I lived on $20,000 a year and survived on receptions at the Capitol Hill Club for dinner. Former Indiana Rep. Roger Zion took me under his wing and introduced me around and fed me until I could afford to buy my own meals.

“I worked my way up the 60 Plus, and eventually the congressman sponsored my Capitol Hill Club membership,” she said about gaining acceptance in the most prestigious Republican dining and social club in Washington. “I never asked my parents for anything but moral support. I was determined to do it all on my own.”

Mrs. Dannenfelser sees a symbiosis that gives Mrs. Frederick some major-league campaign experience in exchange for helping Mrs. Fiorina — who spent her adult life navigating the corporate business world — avoid stepping on the explosive devices strewn among the varied strains of conservative and Republican politics.

“A lot of candidates bring on people that have advised other candidates but who do not necessarily understand the habit of mind of the candidate,” said Mrs. Dannenfelser, whose Susan B. Anthony List seeks to advance pro-life women in politics. “Amy knows where Carly’s added value is and where the pitfalls for her are.

“I see them as the coming together of two different worlds,” said Mrs. Dannenfelser. “Both are excellent in the different worlds they’ve navigated. I have met many candidates, successful and unsuccessful, but no one who can predict pitfalls and opportunities and identify strengths and weaknesses completely by herself or himself.”

Mrs. Frederick is not shy about defining her strengths.

“I’m determined and, in a way, fearless,” she said. “I know what I want, I go for it and don’t stop until I get there. No whining — a trait I learned from my grandfather.”

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