(Illustration by Robin Eley from “Extreme Makeover” in Portfolio, November 2008)
Just a week from leaving office, George W. Bush has a record low approval rating. Can his image be repaired after he exits? Should he hide out in Crawford? Cultivate smart pals and causes? Become commissioner of Major League Baseball? In the November issue of Portfolio, Matt Cooper has a roundup of image repair advice from PR luminaries including (edited for length):
Howard Burson: Go down to Crawford and be George W. Bush…Speaking out on public issues doesn’t come naturally to him, and so he should be quiet.
Howard Rubenstein: Follow the pattern of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton–take what really interests him, like the prevention of H.I.V./AIDS, and lead an organization and raise tremendous money and awareness. Cluster with credible people with achievments, no politicians, just professors and scientists. Second step, keep quiet about Iraq and Afghanistan.
Karen Hughes (now a Burson-Marsteller exec): His library is a naural venue for him to continue to promote and advance policies he cares about.
Linda Dozoretz (L.A.-based crisis guru): Cameo appearance on Dancing With the Stars. And he should do some blogging about some of his presidential experiences, and he should be more accessible, so people can send him emails.
Bud Selig is leaving baseball in 2012. Cooper concludes the Commissioner job is the best place for Bush to meld his passions for politics and the game. Do you have advice for W? Email us here.