CA GOP veteran named Thompson’s spokeswoman

hanretty.jpgFred Thompson‘s presidential campaign has hired veteran California GOP communications strategist Karen Hanretty as deputy communications director to help coordinate the candidate’s media strategy and be its on-the-record spokeswoman.

Hanretty was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign press secretary during the 2003 recall, and after that was the California GOP‘s communications director until 2005.

“Quite simply, Karen is one of the best there is and she will be an enormous asset to our team,” said Todd Harris, the Thompson campaign’s communications director — Hanretty’s once and now again boss, as Harris was Schwarzenegger’s co-communications director in ’03.

Hanretty has gained fame as a national political commentator on Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN, including programs such as The O’Reilly Factor and Hardball with Chris Matthews. She’s also a frequent guest on Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, where she has appeared as guest host for the popular show.

I wonder if this blog posting she wrote in June about Thompson’s wife helpled seal the deal? Anyway, an unscientific straw poll of California State Fair attendees found Thompson to be in second place among the GOP candidates, behind Rudy Giuliani. It’ll be up to Hanretty to help turn that buzz into something real.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.