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Friday Afternoon Quarterbacking: Obama’s Messaging On Security

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A number of PR executives have asked PRNewser over the past week, how do you think President Obama has handled himself since the attempted Christmas day plane bombing?

For three days following the attempted attack while on vacation, Obama did not speak, and since then he has conducted three televised speeches, the latest of which came yesterday afternoon.

“When you know the first day this guy’s [Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab] father had turned him in, how can you not be out there demanding that heads roll?” asked Don Goldberg, partner at D.C.-based Qorvis Communications and former Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton. He said that the only conclusion one can come to is that the reaction was calculated. They tried to “hold off” and “see what public reaction” would be, he said.

Others weren’t as critical. “Whatever he does, it will be criticized,” Hill & Knowlton CEO Paul Taaffe told PRNewser earlier this week.

Either way, it seems the GOP has had their own messaging problems this week. Rudy Giuliani followed former George W. Bush secretary Dana Perino when he said on “Good Morning America” today “we had no domestic attacks under Bush.” Perino said on Fox News’ Hannity in November, “we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.”

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