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Posts Tagged ‘John D. McKinnon’

Breaking Tonight: Dana Perino Joins PR Firm

Breaking tonight on PRNewser: Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino has joined Burson-Marsteller as “Chief Issues Counselor” for the U.S. Perino held the post of White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush from 2007- 2009. She will report to B-M Global Executive Vice President Josh Gottheimer as part of the firm’s Issues and Crisis Group.

“Dana is the latest addition to an already deep bipartisan bench of former presidential advisers…She has performed one of the most demanding jobs in Washington. We know the skills and judgment she honed in her time at the White House will serve our clients well,” said B-M CEO Mark Penn in a statement.

It looks like Burson gave The Wall Street Journal the exclusive, and an interview with Penn. The story “Bush Aide Perino to Join Firm Led by Clinton Adviser” by John D. McKinnon appeared on WSJ.com about one hour before PRNewser received the official release from a B-M spokesperson.

McKinnon reports that Perino, “likely will focus on communications strategies for clients in the looming Washington policy debates over issues such as energy, climate change and health care. She may also develop business among newer defense and technology firms.”

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This Week In Pool Reports

Want to know how to taunt the pool? We hear the smell of lump crab works well.

  • “As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the VP made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan. We gathered at about 6:30 a.m. for the sweep, then flew the three hours from Muscat to Kabul via the same C-17 military transport plane — the one with the shiny travel trailer in the middle. On arrival at the airport, we took CH-47 Chinook choppers for the short hop to the presidential palace in Kabul, reportedly because the highway is regarded as risky. Afghan security lived up to their reputation for being strict. They swept our gear for so long that we basically missed the VP’s actual arrival at the palace, and at first refused to allow reporters and camera people anywhere near the ceremony, finally relenting after much complaining from the American side. VP and Karzai spent about an hour together in a one-on-one following a full delegation meeting.” — John D. McKinnon, The Wall Street Journal

  • “The VP is currently participating in a reenlistment ceremony and will behanding out some medals, and will have dinner with the troops (prime rib, supposedly nothing special for this base, where steak and lobster also havebeen on the menu recently).” — McKinnon

  • “Wednesday was a pretty slow day after the Iraq leg. VP had the interview with Martha Raddatz that you’ve seen. The setting, we’re told, was a piano lounge in the Shangri La resort hotel where he’s staying. (We’re next door in a slightly less fancy place.) In the afternoon he went fishing on a royal yacht, the Kingfish I.” — McKinnon

  • “March Madness comes to the White House! The President of Georgia is here to celebrate the Bulldogs’ historic run through the SEC Tournament over the weekend, including two games and two wins on the same day in tornado-ravaged Atlanta. The Bulldogs’ tipoff in the Big Dance against Xavier is tomorrow at 12:20 p.m. right here in D.C. at the Verizon Center. Oh wait, I have the wrong Georgia on my mind (but that is probably due to the fact that there was absolutely no news in the photo-op).” — Kenneth R. Bazinet, Daily News

  • “Pool can now say that we overnighted at Balad Air Base about 40 miles north of Baghdad, in the southeastern corner of what’s known as the Sunni Triangle. After the press conference and a short filing period at the U.S. embassy on Monday evening, we choppered about 25 minutes to the base, which combines extensive air operations and Army supply operations. Press stayed in tents on the base. There was mortar firing at one point during the night. But soldiers stuck their heads in to let us know that there was no danger (to us anyway, presumably). The next morning, VP staff reported the firing
    was from the base, as part of a periodic effort to clear out ‘bad guys’ from a couple of areas nearby.” — McKinnon

  • “At the first event on Tuesday, a breakfast with troops, VP was asked as he went through the food line whether he’d heard the firing. He said he had. He wasn’t awakened by it, though, because he was already up. ‘Nobody came running in to wake me up,’ he said.” — McKinnon

  • “In the shortest pool spray since at least the Garfield administration, the pool was ushered into the Roosevelt Room at the conclusion of the meeting between the president and the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. Within seconds — like, the number you can count on one hand — the pool was ‘thanked’ and ushered right out, much to the amusement of POTUS. No statements. No questions.” — Keith Koffler, CongressDaily

  • “Pool was ushered into Capitol’s Rayburn Room to witness the final moments of lunch, after speeches had already been made. As we entered, Speaker Pelosi, dressed in a hospital green pantsuit for St. Patrick’s Day, introduced an Irish-American band that she said would offer up ‘Celtic’ music, pronounced by her as in ‘Boston Celtics.’” — Koffler

  • “Pool has the great misfortue of being marooned in Statuary Hall where it can smell lunch being prepared for consumption by dignitaries in the Rayburn Room. The sweet odor consists of: jumbo crab and presrved lemon salad with ‘baby lettuces’ and a gelee of preserved lemon; roasted lamb chops with carmelized endive in a port wine reduction.; potato croquttes; fondue of vegetables; chocolate mousse; coffee and tea; and ‘fancy’ cookies. In an act of sheer brutality, plates were carried in front of the pool on their way in.” — Koffler

  • This Week In Pool Reports

    Does The White House need some new joke writers? What will they do when the pending nuptials are over?

  • “No news, some color in transcripts for those who care for such trifles. The president’s first stop of the evening was the NRCC fundraising dinner at the Washington Hilton. About 2,000 loyal Republicans were present in business attire. The NRCC reported raising $8.6 million at their ‘Earning Back the Majority’ event. The president started speaking during the salad course. He said the first lady was busy with wedding planning and as such, he appreciated the NRCC invite. He said next year the group’s keynote would be ‘President McCain,’ and that he, Bush, would be ‘watching it all on TV in Crawford.’ For himself, the president said, ‘I intend to finish strong, with my head held high.’ (pooler: just like Amy Winehouse!)” — Julie Mason, Houston Chronicle

  • Next stop: Kuwait-America Foundation’s Stand for Africa gala dinner, at the residence of the ambassador of Kuwait. Pool was hustled to a holding room upstairs to watch the president’s remarks on what we assume was closed-circuit TV. He apologized for being late — explaining that Mrs. Bush was making him watch ‘Father of the Bride.’ He made very brief remarks on Africa and malaria, then said he wanted to get back home and finish the movie. Unclear if he meant the original version with Spencer Tracy, or the more contemporary, and to your pooler’s thinking, inferior version with Steve Martin.” — Mason

  • Quick motorcade to Reagan building for the president’s speech to the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It should be noted there were quite a few empty seats. Preliminaries: He rolled his Rs, he threw out some Spanish — then said some say he needs to practice his English. He introduced a retinue of Cabinet members and said, ‘This is not a Cabinet meeting.’ There was a joke about the wedding — ‘la boda.’ … Why am I telling you this if the event was open press? Because your pool took attendance. How much things have changed.” — Mason

  • “Not one iota of news. A teensy bit of color.” — Sheryl Stolberg, New York Times

  • “The president’s reaction to Spitzer, according to Perino: ‘a sad situation.’ She said Bush would have no further comment on the case.” — Jim Gerstenzang, Los Angeles Times

  • “You have the transcript of VPOTUS remarks. Hard to believe, I know, but he used the almost joke again. Never saw that one coming. There was also a Saxby Chambliss hunting line.” — John D. McKinnon, The Wall Street Journal

  • This Week In Pool Reports

    Tourists complicate a presidential car ride, POTUS speaks out on Libby, FLOTUS looks “hip” and Maine experiences a Russian invasion.

  • “POTUS’s little pre-4th afternoon jaunt to Beltsville was significantly complicated by holiday beachgoers and — we were told — a traffic accident. The trip to Beltsville ended up taking about an hour and 10 minutes, compared to 30-35 minutes on typical weekends. It was literally a crawl for the first half hour or so. For the return trip police held traffic off the parkway at least momentarily, significantly speeding our progress.” — John D. McKinnon, Wall Street Journal

  • “He took two questions, both on Libby. In response to the first, he declined to rule out a complete pardon for Libby at a later time. ‘As to the future I rule nothing in and nothing out,’ he said. But he also reiterated that he thought Libby’s non-prison punishments should stand. He described the commutation of prison sentence as a ‘very difficult decision.’ He reiterated that Libby’s punishment was ‘severe.’ He said he took into consideration Libby’s background and service to his country.” — McKinnon

  • “Fresh from his face-to-face with leader-for-life Hugo Chavez — in which the Russian president nodded grinningly as the Venezuelan president told him ‘the empire must understand that it cannot dominate the world’ — Vladimir Putin today came to the empire to visit its soon-to-depart, lame-duck president at dad’s place. And the former KGB man with the see-through soul was all smiles, presenting bouquets of flowers to first lady Laura Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush, double kissing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and heading out (without your pool) for a boat ride with the Most Powerful Man in the World — and his dad.” — Joseph Curl, Washington Times

  • “As the pool milled about near the flag pole (whipping in the wind, four flags: U.S., presidential seal, Texas, Maine), Barbara appeared at the door of the main residence, stepping out to chat with a few people gathered at the circular driveway, including Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin. At about 5:30, Rice and FLOTUS came out another door, walked down a driveway, and
    posed for pictures with Barbara (Hagin the shooter). FLOTUS was wearing a quite hip Hoodie, Condi, an orange sweater and white slacks.” — Curl

  • “Last: The little squire of Kennebunkport has gone Cyrillic — everywhere, signs are written in Russian (including the Clam Shack, with it’s 1-lb. ‘cahabny 43 onapa’ (lobster 43 roll) at $15.50 — a bargain for Russians with phonies Franklins). Stuck in the roll: A U.S. and Russian flag on toothpicks. On Saturday, a trio of Russian press poolers (wearing their official badges) shot everything — a pair of black bikers parked by Dock Square (‘Look, Boris, black people! In Maine!); the village’s lone horse-and-buggy carriage (‘Well, the last superpower is still horse-powered, hmm?’) and even took a picture of your pooler eating a cahabny roll, which
    he expects landed well in the motherland.” — Curl

  • “As the press walked out, the pool passed a sign that said: ‘CAUTION: PRESIDENT ON SEGWAY — SLOW DOWN.’” — Curl

  • This Week In Pool Reports

    A slow week in pool reports, but the illustrious Mike Allen makes an appearance and posing with the POTUS brings in less than a pic wit FLOTUS. And, of course, Miss Beasley knows who her master is.

  • “After the speech, the president worked a rope line as your pool was led out. The two-minute ride back to the White House was uneventful. When he exited his limousine, the president was greeted by Miss Beasley, with whom he strolled back to the Oval Office.” — Bartholomew Sullivan, Scripps Howard News Service

  • “With a little help from our friends in the Press Office: Marine One was wheels down from Andrews at 8:05 p.m. The President — wearing blue tie, white shirt and dark suit — was in a jaunty enough mood to wave toward the press pen. Marine One manifest included Air Force General John Pray of the National Security Council; Mr. Rove; Tony Fratto; The Honorable Jason Recher; and Jared Weinstein.” — Mike Allen, The Politico

  • “The fundraiser for New Jersey Republicans was held in a spartan,
    warehouse-sized convention and exposition center in Edison, about 20 minutes south of the airport. New Jersey Republican Party spokesman Todd Riffle said the fundraiser would generate about(dollars) 675,000 and draw about 700 donors. He described it as ‘easily the most successful fundraising event we’ve had since 2001′ in terms of cash. But he didn’t dispute the recollection of one audience member that photos with Laura Bush in 2004 in NJ were going for (dollars) 10,000, while photos with POTUS on Wednesday were going for (dollars) 5,000. Non-photo tickets were (dollars) 300. The money will go to support Republicans running in state legislative races as well as in local races this fall. Riffle at first said that photos had been dropped to (dollars) 3,000 but almost immediately corrected himself and said they were (dollars) 5,000. The concrete-floored room was lined in black cloth, giving the event a somewhat serious feel.” — John D. McKinnon, Wall Street Journal

  • This Week In Pool Reports

    A quiet week for the pool, complete with an ostrich farm, some good natured teasing and a naked lady for good measure. Ok, ok, the naked lady was a tattoo.

  • “The helicopter ride from Victorville was fairly dramatic. We hovered over miles and miles of mostly empty desert, a cluster of houses here, an ostrich farm — yes — there (okay, there was one that I saw). POTUS landed in a lot at Fort Irwin and strolled over to a make-shift mini-village that was set up for his visit, but offers a sense of 12 others that are deeper in the desert.” — Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

  • “The first stop was a card table set up in front of a cinderblock-type hut. Sitting on top of it were suitcase devices used to view the images sent back from predator drones. ‘Train it on Holland,’ POTUS said as a soldier held up the drone, about two feet long and pointed it at Steve Holland of Reuters. Peering into the image received in the suitcase device’s monitor, POTUS said to Holland, ‘You’re as rough looking here as you are regular.’” — Rutenberg

  • “No news, some color. You have the transcript. (Apologies for the brief delay in filing this report – your pooler was going through the WHCA’s new pool guidelines, to make sure they weren’t being immediately violated.)” — John D. McKinnon, Wall Street Journal

  • “The patients had a variety of severe injures. The president shook the prosthetic right hand of one soldier, jumped onto a Stair Stepper next to another patient missing a right leg and admired the tattoo of naked woman on the left shoulder of another soldier who’d lost both legs.” — Bartholomew Sullivan, Scripps Howard News Service