Oct 19, 2011 - Joe Slade White, Valerie Biden Owens

Freedom of Speech Week:
Selling the candidates

Valerie Biden Owens is a graduate of the University of Delaware, and among the first women in the United States to have managed a modern U.S. Senatorial campaign as well as a Presidential campaign.


Mrs. Biden Owens has led every campaign in her brother Joe Biden's political career, including seven straight U.S. Senate victories and his run for two Democratic Presidential nominations. She also has been his principle speaking surrogate on the campaign trail.


As Vice President Biden has written in his autobiography, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics, his trust in his sister is complete. "She has been my best friend my entire life."  "Valerie Biden was the cornerstone that allowed me to sustain and then rebuild my family."


"They finish each other's sentences -- they're the yin and yang of the Biden family," said Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, President of Women's Campaign International.


When Valerie is not managing her brother's campaigns, she serves as Executive Vice President of Joe Slade White and Company, a media consulting firm in the United States. 


She has served on the National Board of the Women's Leadership Forum of the Democratic National Committee. As a pioneer for women's issues, Valerie has trained women on the political process, as well as on the issues. She has traveled extensively with Women's Campaign International to teach women in emerging democracies how to organize and develop communication and political skills. In 2009, she was a media trainer and consultant in Liberia at The International Colloquium on Women's Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security.

In 2005, Delaware Technical and Community College, in Georgetown, Delaware, named her the International Women's Day Honoree.


Valerie has worked also with national and local organizations to educate women in the United States on how to organize and equip themselves with the basic tools of the art of politics.


Valerie is an active participant in her community, where she has served for over 25 years on the board of The Ministry of Caring, an ecumenical organization dedicated to serving poor, homeless, and disadvantaged people. 

She is married to Jack Owens, an attorney and businessman.


Joe Slade White has been recognized as one of the most innovative and successful national media strategists and producers in the field. A thirty-seven-year veteran of over four hundred political campaigns across the nation, Joe Slade White has compiled a winning record of over 75%. Clients have included Presidential candidates, U.S. Senators, Governors, Members of Congress, and Mayors, as well as statewide and local initiatives, throughout the country.

White began his political career at 21, while a senior at Georgetown University, when he joined the staff of Senator George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign. His place on the presidential campaign’s traveling staff also earned him a spot as one of the youngest members of President Richard Nixon’s infamous “White House Enemies List.”

Joe then served as Senator McGovern’s Press Secretary, before starting his own company at the age of 23.

Joe Slade White has won more “Pollie Awards” for excellence in political television than any other Democratic media consultant, the latest being five “Pollies” in 2006, including a Gold Pollie for “The Best New Use of YouTube.” In a study based on the difficulty of consultants’ campaigns, Campaign Magazine named Joe Slade White and Company Inc. as one of the “Four Most Effective Political Consulting Firms in the Country.” In the last four years, Joe Slade White has served as the media consultant to 27 campaigns – 21 of them won.

Vice President Joseph Biden is a long time client of Joe Slade White. And in the summer of 2008, Joe Slade White, and the firm created the successful nationwide campaign of televison ads for Texas oilman, T. Boone Pickens, to promote his plan to use windpower and alternative fuels to lower the nation’s dependency on foreign oil.

During the last election cycle, the Washington Post named two of White’s campaigns, Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and Congressman Chet Edwards of Texas, as among the “Ten Best Run Incumbent Campaigns in the Nation.” And chose “Twins” one of White’s Granholm spots, as one of the five best TV spots in the country in 2006. Granholm won a long shot re-election against a billionaire opponent who outspent her by 27 million dollars.

Other recent campaigns include: Representative Betty McCollum, the first woman elected to Congress from Minnesota in forty-five years – Congressman Chet Edwards of Texas, the only Texas Democrat to survive Tom DeLay’s re-districting scheme, in a district where President and First Lady Bush are voters – and, in Colorado, the first campaign in the nation to defeat an attempt to ban bi-lingual education in America. In 2004, White created the media for the presidential campaign of General Wesley Clark and won a national Pollie for one of the ads.

Joe Slade White and Company is also the Agency of Record, for national public policy advertising for AT&T. And the firm was hired by Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen, to create the winning media campaign to build the new football stadium in Seattle.

Joe Slade White has been a lecturer at the Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard University, and at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, and has also appeared as a commentator on politics and media for CBS and CNN.

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