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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Clinton’

Obama’s Oval Office Address: Did it Help?

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[Image: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

President Obama gave the first Oval Office address of his presidency last night, to speak about the Gulf Coast oil spill and the administration’s plan moving forward.

In the address, Obama said the government will fight the spill, “with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.”

Last night and into this morning, observers from both the left and the right voiced opinions.

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Bill Clinton Raising Cash On Behalf of Hillary to Pay Off Mark Penn

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The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign still owes Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn money.

And now Bill Clinton is getting in on the act to help pay off the debt.

In an email to supporters to drum up donations this week, Clinton says, “Hillary’s campaign still has a few vestiges of debt that I know she would like to see paid in full,” adding, “And yes, she still needs your help. That’s why we’re going to choose one supporter who enters between now and May 18th and fly them and a guest to New York, where they’ll spend a day with me.”

For the record, all of Hillary Clinton’s remaining debt — $771,000 — is owed to Penn’s firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland Assoc. LLC.

Toyota Adds To PR Agency Roster in D.C.

Toyota has added two D.C.-based PR agencies to its roster of consultants as the company manages through a massive product recall, PRWeek reports.

Glover Park Group and Quinn Gillespie & Associates were hired by the car-maker. The agencies will work alongside existing Toyota agencies Powell Tate and Golin Harris.

Both Glover Park and Quinn Gillespie are high-powered and well-connected D.C. firms. Glover Park recently employed former Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential campaign communications director Howard Wolfson, before he left to take a full time role with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s administration.

Quin Gillespie is run by Jack Quinn, former White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton and Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore. Ed Gillespie left the firm in 2007 to serve as counselor to President George W. Bush and has since worked on various Republic campaigns.

UPDATE: Jack Quinn tells PRNewser via email, “Yes, we are retained by Toyota. We were hired to provide general representation, but, at the moment, we are assisting on issues regarding the recall matters.” The agency is acting as high-level general counsel and in a government relations capacity – not media relations.

RELATED: FishbowlDC Co-Editor Matt Dornic Joins Quinn Gillespie & Associates

President Obama Unexpectedly Appears at White House Press Briefing

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President Obama appeared at today’s White House press briefing and took questions from the media, beginning with Fox News’ Major Garrett.

Many members of the media have complained in recent weeks that the administration is attempting to bypass press conferences, in favor of releasing information via one-on-one interviews and social media channels.

This the President’s first press conference since July. As Fox News’ Garrett notes, Obama has held 27 total press conferences in his first year in office, compared to 19 for George W. Bush and 45 for Bill Clinton.

TVNewser has more.

FishbowlDC Co-Editor Matt Dornic Joins Quinn Gillespie & Associates

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In some news that hits close to home — and by home, we mean the mediabistro.com family — FishbowlDC co-editor Matt Dornic has joined D.C.-based agency Quinn Gillespie & Associates as Director.

QGA will absorb Dornic’s company 3 Dog Agency. All employees will be making the move, along with 3 Dog clients that fit with QGA’s caliber of clients and billing structure.

Dornic told PRNewser today that agency namesake Jack Quinn is a personal friend and mentor and that he was ready “to not be the owner of an agency anymore.”

“I was sick of being bogged down with things like IT and HR, so this is perfect opportunity for me to grow what I loved about 3 Dog at Quinn Gillespie & Associates,” he said.

Quinn formerly served as White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton and Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore.

Agency namesake Ed Gillespie left in 2007 to serve as counselor to President George W. Bush. He had previously served as Chairman of the Republic National Committee.

After Gillespie’s departure, QGA became more government relations focused, and the deal with Dornic and 3 Dog Agency is part of a push to ramp up the agency’s strategic communications expertise.

Dornic will continue to co-edit FishbowlDC. Full release after the jump.

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Mark Penn Recommends Clinton Playbook for Obama

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In the clip above from MSNBC “Morning Joe” today, former Clinton White House pollster, Hillary Clinton campaign strategist, and current Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn recommends President Obama take a page from the playbook of Bill Clinton, circa 1994.

It’s better that the Massachusetts Senate seat upset happened now, giving the Administration time to change course, according to Penn.

As a bonus, Joe Scarborough asked his other guest, “Game Change” author John Heilemann for his favorite Penn gossip from the Hillary campaign. Heilemann declined dish face-to-face, though credited Penn as the first to see Obama as a credible threat within the Clinton camp.

RELATED: ‘Game Change’ PR Surge Continues

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.”

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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Condé Nast Gets PR Help

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It’s been a rough fall for Condé Nast. The media powerhouse shuttered several titles, laid off hundreds of employees and reported sharp decline in ad revenue.

Now, the company is getting PR help. CEO Charles Townsend and Chairman S.I. Newhouse, Jr. have hired crisis manager and media coach Michael Sheehan. The executives were reluctant to make the hire, but did so after Lucky publisher Gina Sanders urged them to, reports the Post‘s Keith Kelly. Sanders is married to Condé “heir apparent” Steven Newhouse and worked with Sheehan when she was at Teen Vogue.

Sheehan has experience in politics and finance having counseled Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, AIG during last year’s crisis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and JP Morgan. He has also served as speech coach at every Democratic convention since 1988.

White House Posting “Talking Points” on Blog Daily; What Are The Implications for PR?

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The White House is now posting the administration’s communications focus, along with talking points, daily on the Whitehouse.gov blog. In the first post today, White House Online Programs Director Jesse Lee wrote, “It’s no secret that institutions of all stripes focus their communications on certain messages day to day. We thought it would all be a little more open and transparent if we went ahead and published what our focus will be for the day, along with any related articles, reports or documents.”

Has this ever been done before, and what are the implications for PR?

“It makes a lot of sense and I’m not aware of it ever being done before,” said Don Goldberg, partner at D.C.-based Qorvis Communications and former Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton. “When I was in White House, we would have daily meetings on message and you would basically have conference calls…If the weekend was coming up and you had talk shows you were worried about, you would make sure all Democrats on the shows had the same points. The Obama administration is bypassing traditional media as much as it can anyway, so why not provide them with ‘message of the day’ type of details. Why not try to reach out to everybody?”

Stacie Paxton, former national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee and now a Vice President in Hill & Knowlton’s Washington, D.C. office, said that providing White House talking points online, “shows a level of transparency previously unseen by other Administrations – Republican or Democratic. It gives extremely valuable insight into thinking at the White House at a critical time. Anyone with a stake in the health care debate or any other pressing issue would be foolish not to read this blog daily.”

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