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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Latimer’

“Speech-Less” Author Blames Bad Communications and Blind Loyalty for Bush Problems

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Former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer told Red State today that the same blind loyalty he saw during his time in the White House is also fueling the attacks against him for his tell-all book, “Speech-Less”:

“The fact is that appallingly bad communications strategies crippled the president, and the people attacking me were the ones responsible for it.”

The book with its dishy anecdotes about George Bush and his inner circle (see Reliable Source’s rundown), slots neatly into the debate about the future of the GOP. It’s currently sitting 27th on the New York Times bestseller list.

Former press secretary Dana Perino dismisses Latimer as a nobody, “I’m pretty sure that almost everyone who worked in the White House could not pick Matt out of a lineup”.

The attacks and counterattacks reached fever pitch two weeks ago when Latimer’s former boss Bill McGurn slammed his disloyalty in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Politico in turn, got in touch with Kevin Kellems, a friend of the author’s and Dick Cheney’s communications director at the time. Kellems produced emails for 2007 deflating the premise of McGurn’s argument:

Latimer was promoted to Deputy Director of presidential speech writing AFTER the period McGurn cites–which destroys his argument. There are higher obligations in public service than loyalty to the buddy system. In fact that’s what this book is about–so people can read SPEECH-LESS and make their own mind up. When Bill has time to think about this and rereads some of his old emails contradicting his Journal column, he’ll probably want to retract a few things like any decent manager would.

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Grading Obama: Five Down, One to Go

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President Barack Obama‘s five Sunday morning talk show interviews aired yesterday (after being filmed back to back from the White House Roosevelt Room on Friday). That leaves Obama with one major interview left in his latest media blitz: tonight the President will appear on “The Late Show With David Letterman.”

So, how did he do? The TimesAlessandra Stanley called the round of interviews a, “remarkable – and remarkably overt – display of media management.”

“He’s turning the presidency into an infomercial,” former White House speechwriter Matt Latimer told the New York Post.

The White House stood by their strategy. “In an increasingly fragmented audience that gets information from a number of different sources, putting a huge amount of his time behind one medium increases our ability to really break through and get a message out. The effect of one interview, given how rapidly the news environment moves, doesn’t last as long as it used to,” White House communications director Anita Dunn told the Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz.

Mediaite’s Steve Krakauer reviewed each interview and said that CNN’s John King came out on top. “…many of the foreign policy questions gave the CNN audience a perspective not seen in the other three,” he said.

As is usual with any high profile interview, network PR teams rushed out transcripts with highlighted sound bites as early as Friday afternoon, hoping their respective interview would get the largest share of coverage.