May 09

Hillary would never make it as a timekeeper

Senator Hillary Clinton told reporters Wednesday that it ‘was still early’ in the campaign season and thatHillary_2
‘…the dynamic electoral environment’ could still swing her way.

Gimme a break. Early in the campaign season? It’s one minute to midnight and Hill’s goose is cooked. Her refusal to concede and allow the fractured Democratic Party to unite behind Barack Obama is disingenuous, deceitful and depressing.

I’ve never been a fan of Senator Clinton’s, but she’s sunk to a new low with this latest statement.

The time (pun intended) to finally step up and display some class and graciousness is now. Mark Penn and the rest of Hill’s consultants need to tell her what any public relations professional would tell a client in a similar situation. Do what’s best for the brand. And, the brand in this case is the Democratic Party.

The longer Hill delays, the more likely ’43’ will be succeeded by John McCain as our 44th president. So, look at your wristwatch, Senator Clinton. It’s later then you think.

Mar 06

Note to Hillary: There’s no ‘I’ in team

Greg Schneiders’ most excellent opinion piece in PR Week answered a question I’ve been wrestling withHillary
for some time: why do I overwhelmingly prefer Obama to Hillary?

As Schneider points out, Hillary’s speeches routinely employ the first person (‘I did this. I did that. I will do this. I will do that’). Obama, on the other hand, is a third person advocate (‘We will do this. We CAN do that together,’ etc.).

Hillary is iconoclastic, idiosyncratic and isolated. Obama seems warm, engaging and collegial by comparison. Coming on the heels of a disastrous administration whose leader was a sheltered, self-centered president who either dismissed criticism or questioned critics’ patriotism, Obama really does seem like a much needed breath of fresh air.

I’ve always been a fan of the ‘we’ word and recoil in disgust on the rare occasions when Peppercom employees opt for first person self aggrandizement in client or prospect meetings. Success, whether it be in business or politics, is a group activity. My best guess is that Schneiders is dead on. Hillary is all about Hillary, and Obama is all about the average American.

There‚Äôs no ‘I’ in team, either on Pennsylvania or Madison Avenues. And, that’s why ‘Hill’ will remain on Capitol Hill and not be back in the White House with Bill and Chelsea in tow.

Feb 20

Obama, can you spare a dime?

I’m simultaneously amazed and appalled at extraordinary amount of campaign monies being racked upMoney
every month by Obama, Hillary and McCain. It’s especially galling when one juxtaposes the candidates’ war chests with the very real pain many Americans are suffering right now.

So, here’s a suggestion: Obama, Hillary and McCain (I try to ignore Huckabee, hoping he’ll go away) should tithe a percentage of their monthly campaign contributions to needy causes. Each candidate, for example, could ‘adopt’ street people in the primary states still left to contest and pay for a week’s worth of free soup, clothing, shelter, etc. Each candidate could demonstrate real caring and concern by reaching into their own ‘pockets’ and helping the less fortunate.

Imagine the image and reputation boost if Hillary or Obama did just that in, say, Texas. It might be enough to ensure victory. But, sadly, more money for the poor would mean less money for those horrific, pit bill attack ads. And, no candidate could possibly win without those.

Thanks to Greg Schmalz for the idea.

Dec 10

I agree with Andy Young

Former UN Ambassador, Atlanta Mayor and Civil Rights Leader Andrew Young says he wants BarackAndrew_young
Obama to be president, but not until 2016. Young believes Obama is too much of an outsider and has not built the infrastructure necessary to be a successful chief administrator. As Young put it, ‘you can’t run a government all by yourself.’

I agree. In fact, I tell would-be entrepreneurs the same thing when I lecture at colleges and universities. To be successful in business, one has to build an infrastructure of contacts, content and experience. In most instances, entrepreneurial success is dependent upon who you know, who can open doors for you and who can pave the way. Sure, the blood, sweat and tears are all yours but, in our case, we knew the key agencies, the key media and the key influencers. And they all helped when our turn came.

Obama is a Beltway novice. If he should gain the oval office, I believe he’ll be so stressed in building first-time bridges that he won’t be able to accomplish much of anything. America needs someone who knows the ropes, has an infrastructure in place and can effect change. I’m not saying Hillary’s that person. But, I agree with Andy Young that it sure isn’t Obama.