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Posts Tagged ‘Anita Dunn’

White House ‘Pissed’ Over Advisor’s PR Work

A Daily Beast follow-up to a weekend article in The New York Times asserts that White House staffers got “pissed off” on learning that Anita Dunn, current Obama campaign insider and former White House communications director, also performs PR duties for some clients who have a certain…interest in influencing policy.

The Beast somehow recruited several anonymous stock characters to say very bad things about Mrs. Dunn. Some key quotes:

“It smells.”

“You don’t hear stories about [lobbyists] so obviously exploiting their access.”

“I think she is well over the line.”

Obama himself was “…not aware…of the extent of her firm’s work. I bet he won’t be happy.”

Despite these redundant quips, official White House spokesmen defend Dunn’s dual roles, stating that all involved parties followed—and continue to follow–relevant ethics rules. Dunn’s own nameless colleague at SKDKnickerbocker, which has doubled in size since she left her communications director position in 2009, told Beast reporters that the firm nurtures no conflicts of interest, saying “We’re a public relations not a lobbying firm”, though she did note that the firm gives suggested statements, or “talking points,” to lobbyists for use on behalf of their clients.

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Glover Park Hires AP Chief White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven

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Associated Press Chief White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven joins the powerful Washington DC firm Glover Park Group as managing director in its public affairs practice after 18 years at the newswire.

Loven joined the AP in 1992 as an editorial assistant, and has since worked a number of regions and beats before covering the White House during the Bush and Obama administrations. After getting promoted to Chief in 2008, she also became president of the White House Correspondents Association where she “shepherded relations between the incoming Obama administration and the press corps,” according to Glover Park’s press release.

Loven carries the same managing director title as Alex Mistri, who also joined the firm this month. Mistri was previously at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

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Glover Park Group Adds Alex Mistri as MD

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High-powered D.C. based agency The Glover Park Group has added Alex Mistri, most recently a strategic analysis and economic officer in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, as a managing director in its Government Affairs practice.

During his 15 month assignment in Iraq, Mistri focused on foreign investment and economic issues. Previously, Mistri served as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, representing President Bush in the House of Representatives.

Mistri’s announcement comes after Glover Park veteran Alex Slater left the firm in late June to join SKDKnickerbocker, who counts former White House communications director Anita Dunn as a principal.

Hilary Rosen Joins SKDKnickerbocker

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Hilary Rosen, one of Washington D.C.’s best known communications strategists, is leaving her post as managing director at Brunswick Group to join SKDKnickerbocker in the same role.

“SKDKnickerbocker is thrilled to welcome one of the best strategists in the country as we further develop our public affairs practice – offering clients consistent hands-on engagement from the best practioners like Hilary, combined with full service public affairs capabilities,” said Josh Isay, managing director of SKDKnickerbocker in a statement.

From the release:

The announcement follows the return of Principal Anita Dunn, who had recently been on leave from the company to serve as President Obama’s Communications Director. Rosen will join one of the most experienced teams of high-level strategists in the country led by Bill Knapp, Dunn, Chris Cooper, Jay Marlin, Jim Mulhall, Karen Olick and Alex Slater in Washington DC; Isay, Jennifer Cunningham and Stefan Friedman in New York.

At Brunswick, Rosen had been working on the BP account, among others. Rosen previously served as th chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, and has also held the roles of political director and editor-at-large for The Huffington Post and on-air political contributor for CNN. She joined Brunswick group in November 2008.

Glover Park Vet Alex Slater Joins Former Obama Comm. Director Anita Dunn’s PR Agency

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Alex Slater has joined SKDKnickerbocker as managing director of the firm’s expanding corporate, advocacy and crisis communications practice, the agency said today.

Slater joins the agency after a decade at The Glover Park Group, where he worked with clients including Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase Cards, the American Bankers Association, Discovery Communications and People for the American Way.

SKDK was formed in April 2010 after the merging of Squier Knapp Dunn Communications and Knickerbocker Consulting.

Agency principal Anita Dunn returned to the firm after serving as President Obama’s communications director. PRNewser readers may remember Dunn for her public battles with Fox News this past fall. She resigned from the Obama administration at the end of November 2009.

In a side note, it’s interesting to point out that Politico put out the release on their daily email with the following URL:

http://www.politico.com/static/PPM130_slater_release_emargoed_until_june_28.html

Notice the embargo date built into the URL.

RELATED: Why Did Anita Dunn Step Down As White House Communications Director?

The President’s Media Diet

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One of the questions PRNewser sometimes asks in interviews is, “What do you read?” We’re always interested in hearing from executives about what publications compose their media diet.

Thankfully, none have given an answer akin to Sarah Palin‘s “all of them” during the 2008 campaign, when pressed by CBS’ Katie Couric as to which newspapers and magazines she reads.

On that note, The Washington Post today published a story that looks into the influencers in President Obama’s decision making process, including media. Of note: Senior adviser David Axelrod told the Post Obama reads magazines including the New Yorker, the Economist, Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone. Axelrod added,”There are some commentators whose views he’s interested in, and he’ll read blog items.”

Of course, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs‘ daily briefings on C-SPAN are must see TV, said former communications director Anita Dunn. Read the full story here.

[Image: President Obama holding a copy of Fareed Zakaria's "The Post American World."]

It’s Official: Fox News to Interview Obama

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After some speculation last week, it’s now official: Fox News’ Major Garrett will interview President Obama tomorrow morning in Beijing. The interview comes after recent attacks on the network by now outgoing White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, and despite reports that said the administration told Fox News not to expect an interview with Obama until 2010. News broke last week that Dunn will be stepping down from her post at the end of November.

“I am not a person who is known for going rogue,” Dunn said at a media conference last week, claiming Obama was aware of the strategy to go after Fox News. Nonetheless, a source told PRNewser, “it’s a shame when they throw people under the bus,” hinting that the timing of Dunn’s departure was not her choice. Fox News spokeswoman Dana Klinghoffer said to Bloomberg only, “We wish her well in her new position.”

CBS’ Chip Reid, ABC’s Jake Tapper, NBC’s Chuck Todd and Ed Henry for CNN will also interview the President.

Fox News To Interview President Obama Next Week

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One day after news broke that Communications Director Anita Dunn would be leaving the White House, the administration has granted an interview to Fox News’ Major Garrett, Matt Drudge reports.

Dunn led administration attacks against Fox News in recent weeks. No doubt many will be asking if the two moves are connected. More to come…

UPDATE: Sources tell TVNewser the interview isn’t confirmed as of yet. The administration had told Fox News not to expect an interview until 2010.

Why Did Anita Dunn Step Down As White House Communications Director?

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The role in the Obama administration with the highest level of turnover is that of Communications Director. As news broke today that interim Communications Director Anita Dunn would be stepping down, the question remains: why?

Several scenarios have been tossed around: Did she have to clear room for her husband to join the administration and remove any potential concerns about conflict of interest? Did her attacks on Fox News have an effect? Or, was the move simply what was expected, as Dunn was always “interim” Communications Director?

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Anita Dunn To Step Down as White House Communications Director

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Breaking: White House communications director Anita Dunn will step down from her post at the end of the month and Dan Pfeiffer, her deputy, will take over, reports the Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza.

Dunn, who had taken the job on an interim basis earlier this year, will remain with the White House as a consultant. She is most known for recently leading the White House attacks against Fox News. On October 11th, Dunn appeared on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and stated, “The reality of it is that Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.” More to come.

UPDATE: ABC News reports, “There have been discussions at the White House about Dunn’s husband, Bob Bauer, replacing White House counsel Greg Craig. Today’s move presumably makes that switch more likely.”

[image: Dunn speaking with White House senior advisor David Axelrod.]

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