Burson-Marsteller CEO and Democratic stategist Mark Penn appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning to talk about the Obama administration and the political landscape post health-care reform passing.
“I think President Obama has his mojo back,” said Penn. “People had a lot of doubts on all fronts and I think he is back in many ways.”
When asked about the “force” that is Sarah Palin, in reference to how she in many ways is leading the counter message against the administration, Penn said, “I don’t think the White House should tangle with Sarah Palin, because that would only elevate her.”
TIME‘s Michael Scherertakes a look into how the White House is managing a news cycle that seems to move exponentially faster with each passing day. From the story:
“We have a theory of how the news media work in this Internet age,” explains Dan Pfeiffer [pictured], the buzz-cut 34-year-old who recently became the third person to serve as Obama’s communications director. “There is basically a constant swirl going on.”
This twister still includes the newspaper front pages, nightly news broadcasts and magazine covers that can often shape the national debate. But it also incorporates Sarah Palin‘s Facebook page, the latest Internet attack videos and that e-mail your aunt just sent you. “There is a constant conversation that goes on all day long, through blogs, through cable TV, through Twitter, between reporter, subject and reader,” says Pfeiffer, who sits down the hall from the Oval Office. He says his new job is to “make sure we are not getting swallowed up by the swirl.”
PRNewser has spoke with a number of political PR operatives who have said the fast changing news cycle is one of the reasons why the Obama press team has become more active on Twitter, in an attempt to squash incorrect or incomplete stories there, before they bubble up to mainstream media.
During her appearance on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jay Leno last night, Sarah Palin was asked by Leno, “The media does try to get a rise out of you, they sort of poke you, to get you to react, and sometimes your reaction becomes bigger than whatever the initial story was. Have you sort of learned, maybe, OK, I’m not going to comment on that one because it will only get bigger?”
Palin responded in part, “What I’d like is perhaps more opportunity to follow up on a comment I perhaps have made.” Leno asked for an example, to which Palin referred to a recent incident with the TV show “Family Guy,” which made a joke in reference her son Trig, who has Down syndrome.
In that instance, Palin responded via her Facebook page, stating, “If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks.”
In her interview with Leno, Palin said her comment, “got out there in the blogosphere, in the different mediums we have today, and it’s left there, not an opportunity to follow up and elaborate on what I really meant.”
However, many would disagree with Palin’s stance. If there is anyone in the world that has the power to “follow up,” it is Palin, who regularly appears on the number one most watched cable news network, Fox News, has a Facebook page with more than 1.4 million fans, and can regularly command the attention of just about any reporter or media outlet she desires to speak with. Scroll to about the 1:26 mark in the clip to watch the exchange, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Back in May, Politico analyzed the press briefings and found that the instances of laughter – as indicated by “(Laughter)” being noted in the official transcript – occurred more than 10 times per day during press secretary Robert Gibbs‘s briefings.
But the laughter has been reduced by half in recent months: In the first six months of the Obama administration, briefings produced an average of 179 laughs per month. Over the past six months, the average has dropped down to 89.
This could be due to the fact that Gibbs has had to address a number of serious issues in the last few months, including health-care reform stalling, Scott Brown winning Ted Kennedy‘s Senate seat in Massachusetts and continued concern about job growth and the economy.
Regardless of where one may stand on the political spectrum, we imagine PR pros would rather have their client read talking points off a teleprompter, or even better, memorize them in advance, as opposed to reading them off their hand.
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."]
“Game Change” doesn’t just sizzle, it’s sizzle-mean. Subtitled “Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the race of a lifetime” the book by TIME‘s Mark Halperin and New York‘s John Heilemann is running the table with a roll-out of very damaging, and blog-able anecdotes from the 2008 presidential campaign trail.
Yet the real story is what “Game Change” reveals about the modern Washington press corps, the debate of which should keep the book on the bestseller list for awhile.
Sarah Palin‘s book tour for “Going Rogue” begins next Monday with an interview on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” From there, Palin will stay away form major cities and instead focus on stops in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Florida.
“I’ve decided to stop in cities that are not usually included in a typical book tour,” Palin said this week on her Facebook page. Tina Andreadis, Director of Publicity at Harper Collins is handling all press. She has not responded to requests for comment as of the time of this post.