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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Wolffe’

New Obama Book: ‘Everyone Knew the Communications Effort Was Struggling’

Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House, a new book out this week from communications consultant and political analyst Richard Wolffe, puts forth yet another documentation of how the Obama administration’s communications strategy has not been operating as best it could.

Politico quotes the following excerpt from the book:

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Massey Energy Hires Public Strategies In Wake of Mine Tragedy


WPP-owned Public Strategies has been hired by Massey Energy Co. following an incident in which 29 miners died at one of the company’s coal mines in West Virginia earlier this month.

Public Strategies is staffed by political heavyweights including former George W. Bush staffers Dan Bartlett and Mark McKinnon, as well as Jeff Eller, a former White House aide to then-President Bill Clinton.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news and has some background on the connections between the two companies:

Public Strategies also has ties to Massey’s lead outside director, retired Navy Admiral Bobby Inman, a longtime professor at the University of Texas’ Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, which is supported by the LBJ Foundation; Public Strategies’ chairman Jack Martin – a longtime Democratic Party hand – is a foundation board member, and McKinnon is a lecturer at the LBJ School.

Goldman Sachs is also working with Public Strategies. Newsweek correspondent and MSNBC analyst Richard Wolffe briefly worked for the firm this past fall.

RELATED: What if Only PR Pros From Massey Energy Were ‘Reporting’ On the W.V. Mining Disaster?

Former Newsweek Correspondent Turned PR Exec Richard Wolffe Returns to Countdown With Keith Olbermann

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Richard Wolffe, the former Newsweek White House Correspondent turned PR executive appeared on Countdown With Keith Olbermann last night.

Wolffe appeared on the program to speak about Sarah Palin‘s new book. In the interview, Olbermann asked Wolffe, “Do we expect a book tour, and if there is a book tour, wouldn’t she have to agree to a few non-cooked interviews to promote her book?” Wolffe responded, “There is that danger. I suspect that the real risk of a book tour, having done one myself is that they’re grueling, exhausting and Sarah Palin may just find that best way she can do a book tour and support the troops is to stay at home.”

In early August, MSNBC addressed concerns pertaining to Wolffe still appearing as a guest and fill in host for the show, months after he had joined Public Strategies, Inc., a corporate communications firm run by former Bush White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett. MSNBC had not originally disclosed Wolffe’s new job on air, which drew ire from the media, beginning with Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. On August 4th, Olbermann wrote on his Daily Kos blog: “I am confident his commentary to this point has not been compromised – he has been an insightful analyst and a great friend to this show – but until we can clarify what else he is doing, he will not be appearing with us.”

An MSNBC spokesperson told TVNewser yesterday, “NBC News management has had extensive conversations with Richard and has fully reviewed both his work on our air and for Public Strategies. Based on this review, Richard will continue to be a valued contributor to ‘Countdown’ and MSNBC.”

MSNBC Will Continue Booking Richard Wolffe

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Richard Wolffe, one of many high-profile “hacks” to turn “flack” this year, has been drawing the ire of bloggers by maintaining his pole position on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

He was Newsweek’s Senior White House Correspondent before leaving journalism to join Public Strategies, Inc. as a Senior Strategist in the spring.

It’s quite common for political consultants to appear on cable shows, however Wolffe has done so as a guest host, not a panelist. As a result, Wolffe and the firm received the full Gawker treatment today, illuminating some connections between Public Strategies’ lobbying clients, and the healthcare fight on the Hill.

MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines responded to Talking Points Memo, promising to disclose Wolffe’s new job title. Olbermann wrote on Daily Kos that Wolffe might be welcomed back when the show “can clarify what else he is doing.”

As media watchers know, Olbermann switched a few years back from booking a wide variety of experts to a handful of pithy regulars, many from the synergized Newsweek. The reason MSNBC is sticking with Wolffe is for two big reasons: he covered the Obama run from the beginning, and because he’s a very good guest–a smooth talking pundit with good suits and quick British wit. These things matter when viewer boredom is alleviated with a quick flip of the remote. A guest’s delivery on cable is just as important as pedigree.

However, as you’ll see from the clip of Wolffe’s guest host appearance from Friday above, it’s much harder to sit behind the anchor desk than to react to questions. He’s pretty good but not very “Keithy,” as the network promises in their promos.