Vin Weber

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John Vincent (Vin) Weber became an adviser to Republican 2008 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in January 2007.[1] A former Republican U.S. Representative from Minnesota (1980-1992), Weber has been a lobbyist and the managing partner of Clark & Weinstock's Washington D.C. office since 1994. He is chairman of the board at the National Endowment for Democracy.

Pro-war in Iraq

Weber is a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and was one of the signatories to the January 26, 1998, PNAC letter[2] sent to President Clinton urging him "to seize that opportunity" in his upcoming State of the Union "to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power." He also signed the September 20, 2001, PNAC letter[3] endorsing President George W. Bush's "admirable commitment to 'lead the world to victory' in the war against terrorism."

In March 2002, Weber was among a "powerful group of neo-conservatives [who launched] a new public relations campaign in support of President George W. Bush's war on terrorism," Jim Lobe wrote in AlterNet.[4] Calling themselves Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT), they "declared their intention to 'take to task those groups and individuals who fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the war we are facing.'" [5]

"The newly-formed organization is headed by a formidable array of right-wing luminaries," Lobe wrote. "At the top of the list is former Secretary of Education and drug czar William Bennett, AVOT's chairman. The group's Senior Advisors include former CIA director R. James Woolsey; former Reagan Pentagon official Frank Gaffney; William P. Barr, attorney general under George Bush, Sr; and mega-political donor Lawrence Kadish. AVOT is a project of Empower America -- also co-chaired by Bennett -- whose principal members include conservative political operatives Jeane Kirkpatrick, Jack Kemp, Vin Weber and William Cohen."[6]


Weber is co-founder and co-director of Empower America and co-director of the Aspen Institute's Domestic Strategy Group. According to his C&W biographical note, he is also a fellow at the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota, "where he is a co-director with former Congressman Tim Penny of the Policy Forum (formerly the Mondale Forum)." [7]

Weber is a member of the Board of Directors of Citizens Against Government Waste, [8] board member of ITT Educational Services, Department 56 and the German Marshall Fund. [9]

Vin is also Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, serves on the Board of The Council on Foreign Relations, is a member of the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, serves on the U.S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion, is a senior fellow at the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota (where he is co-director of the Policy Forum) and is on the Board of ITT Educational Services and The Lenox Group. He is also Policy Chairman of Romney for President Inc. (overseeing all policy development for Governor Mitt Romney).

Weber served in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1993 and according to his biography,

'Vin is one of the most prominent and successful strategists in the Republican Party and enjoys strong bipartisan relationships across the Legislative and Executive branches of government. He serves as a trusted advisor to senior officials in the Administration and on Capitol Hill, and has counseled numerous Presidential campaigns'.

Weber previously co-chaired a major 'independent' task force on U.S. Policy Toward Reform in the Arab World with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Prior to 1994, Vin was president and co-director of Empower America a public policy advocacy group alongside other co-directors Jack Kemp, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Bill Bennett. He was a member of the Appropriations Committee and an elected member of the House Republican Leadership and prior to this was campaign manager and chief Minnesota aide to Senator Rudy Boschwitz (1978-1980)

Weber is a contributing columnist to The Hill newspaper and was the publisher of The Murray County Herald from 1976-1978. He has featured in numerous national publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, National Journal and The New Republic. He has also appeared on NBC’s Nightly News, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, ABC’s This Week, the CBS Early Show, Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC.

Other affiliations

Contact, References and Resources




  1. Chris Cillizza, "Romney, McCain Tout New Backers," The Fix Blog/Washington Post, 15 January 2007.
  2. Letter to President William Jefferson Clinton from PNAC, 26 January 1998.
  3. Letter to President George W. Bush from PNAC, 20 September 2001.
  4. Jim Lobe, "The War on Dissent Widens," AlterNet, 12 March 2002.
  5. Lobe, Ibid.
  6. Lobe Ibid.
  7. Bio: Vin Weber, Clark and Weinstock.
  8. 'Board of Directors', CAGW website, accessed 31 March, 2009.
  9. 'Profile: John Vincent (Vin) Weber', Right Web, accessed 31 March, 2009.
  10. 'Council Member Biography', Gerson Lehrman Group website, accessed 31 March, 2009.
  11. David D. Kirkpatrick, 'How the Clock Ran Out On the Dubai Ports Deal', The New York Times, 10 March, 2006.
  12. 'ORGANIZATION', National Campaign To Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy website, accessed 31 March, 2009.