Apr 29

Drill, baby, drill has its consequences

Sarah Palin, John McCain and their Tea Party/Measuring Up brethren have been chanting 'Drill, baby, drill'  for some time now.


April 29 Wrapping themselves in the American flag, pro-drill Republicans say it's critical we plumb the oil reserves lying off the U.S. shoreline. To do otherwise, they argue, is to keep us held hostage by the Middle East oil cartel. But, at what price?

The horrific BP oil rig spill in the Gulf of Mexico is just the latest example of what will happen if we continue to recklessly drill, baby, drill. Five billion barrels of oil are pouring daily into the Gulf's waters and slowly, but surely, making their way towards shore. The carnage to wildlife and pristine shorelines may be catastrophic (and, New Orleans may once again bear the brunt of the damage). Making matters even worse, BP can't figure out how to cap the sunken oil rig's three separate leaks.

Republicans paint domestic drilling opponents as unpatriotic tree huggers. Maybe so, but the more companies such as BP are given free reign to drill into America's continental shelf, the more we'll see environmental disasters like the one unfolding in the Gulf.

It's time for even more significant investments in alternative energy sources such as nuclear, wind and solar. Nobody wants to be held hostage by the oil cartel, but right wing hawks like Ms. Palin need to wise up. Otherwise, her multiple children and grandchildren will not only be able to see Russia from their front porch, they'll be able to walk across an oil-caked Bering Sea to get there.

Jul 01

Will hope once again trump experience?

I just caught a fascinating C-Span retrospective on past presidential elections that raised an interestingBarack_and_mccain question: will the upcoming national election parallel the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon epic?

The similarities are striking.

Both battles featured a Republican candidate who played the ‘experience’ card and a Democratic contender whose message was ‘hope.’

Forty-eight years ago, Richard M. Nixon had just finished two terms as Eisenhower’s vice president, briefly ‘served’ as chief commander while Ike convalesced from a heart attack and famously ‘out-bullied’ Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in the so-called kitchen debate.

Heading into the November election, John McCain can point to decades of service in the Senate, a distinguished military career and a perception of a politician who votes his beliefs as opposed to the party line.

In 1960, JFK was portrayed as an inexperienced lightweight, despite his war record and years of service in both the House and Senate.

Today, Barack Obama finds himself in a similar position, courtesy of the Hillary and McCain propaganda machines.

Nixon and McCain were the safe, experienced candidates. Kennedy and Obama offered hope, and made the case that America could do much, much better than it had in the recent past.

Kennedy won because, in face-to-face confrontations with Nixon, he projected confidence. That image, coupled with his message of hope, carried the day. Obama’s moment of truth will come in face-to-face debates with McCain this Fall.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the upcoming debates will be the most pivotal in recent history. And, it will all come down to which candidate projects the more presidential image. Will hope once again trump experience? Let the games begin. Lights! Camera! Action!

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.

Jan 10

What car would they drive and what music would be playing on the car radio?”

We usually wrap up our corporate positioning projects by asking internal and external respondents whatCar
an organization might look like if it came to life and, once alive, what car would he/she drive and what music would be playing on the radio. The results help us shape the tone of the subsequent PR campaign (i.e. A response such as “…We’d be Arnold Schwarzenegger driving a Hummer” would dictate a different program tone than, say, “…I see us as Audrey Hepburn tooling around in a Jaguar convertible.”).

So, based upon their images and reputations, I thought I’d adapt the ‘car/music’ game and apply it to the leading presidential candidates. Here goes:

– Hillary Clinton would be wheeling around in a tough, boxy black Volvo. Nothing frilly for Hilly. Just something safe and sturdy that will take her straight to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And, since Sen. Clinton is so dependent upon the female vote (yet insists she doesn’t play the gal card), she’d be listening to Helen Reddy’s ‘I am woman.’

– Barack Obama would be driving a sleek Lexus. Boasting smooth lines, cool handling, and a sweet turning radius, the Obama luxury car’s radio would be tuned to some sort of upscale jazz from Thelonious Monk.

– John Edwards strikes me as a little man who would be most comfortable in a little car. So, let’s place him behind the wheel of a yellow Volkswagen whose speaker system is blasting some Southern rock anthem like ‘Free bird.’

– John McCain is true-blue American and would be driving a midrange Ford or GMC, the type you rent from Hertz and beat the hell out of for the duration of your trip. McCain’s music would be late 1960s and heavily influenced by the Vietnam War. So, I’m guessing it’s Barry McGuire’s ‘Ballad of the green berets.’

– Rudy Giuliani is a one issue candidate whose car reflects his limitations. It’s a huge Chevy Suburban that can only go in one direction, is impervious to dents and nicks and knows that it looked great for one, brief shining moment seven years ago. The music: either Journey’s ‘Eye of the tiger’ or Pat Benatar’s ‘Love is a battlefield.’

– Mitt Romney reeks of conservatism (not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you). So, Mitt’s driving a conservative, family-focused mini van. Like Mitt, the car’s boring and bland, and colored brown. The music would be something like Debbie Boone’s ‘You light up my life.’

– Mike Huckabee strikes me as a real gladhandler who’s warm and fuzzy on the outside, but struggling to control a hair-trigger temper. (In fact, Huckabee’s the candidate I’d pick as most likely to engage in road rage). Huckabee’s zipping around in a Jeep and his radio station is jumping back-and-forth from evangelical, pro-creation anthems to Rush Limbaugh’s latest diatribes.

Projecting a candidate’s car and music of choice is lots of fun. And the nice thing is there is no right or wrong. So tell me what you think. Do you see the candidates differently? If so, what sort of car/music do you envision?