Romney Rips Police Chief for Obama Slur

Romney Romney Rips Police Chief for Obama Slur

THE PR VERDICT: “A” (PR PERFECT) for Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney might not have been a particularly awesome Presidential candidate (or a particularly enlightened pet owner), but in matters of basic human decency, his bona fides are unassailable. So it was appropriate and magnanimous of him to sound off over the weekend in defense of the man who bested him in 2012, Barack Obama.

Romney, in a statement to The Boston Herald, excoriated Robert Copeland, the rural New Hampshire police commissioner who was overheard using a racial slur to describe the President – and who, despite widespread and uniform condemnation, initially refused even to apologize, let alone resign. Defending his N-word usage, Copeland said the President “meets and exceeds my criteria for such.” His forced resignation was announced by the town government yesterday.

Romney, who owns a nearby vacation home in New Hampshire, minced no words is calling for Copeland to apologize and resign, in no particular order. “The vile epithet used and confirmed by the commissioner has no place in our community,” he told the Herald. Good for Mitt.

THE PR VERDICT: “A” (PR Perfect) for Mitt Romney, for throwing his moral authority around – and knowing he had to.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: Know when you must speak up. It is as important as knowing when not to. Romney’s remarks about his onetime opponent’s White House tenure and the 2012 Presidential contest haven’t always been supportive or conciliatory. And likely the passage of time hasn’t fully dulled his smarting from the 2012 loss. In the current matter, he could have kept quiet, but likely sooner or later the press would have come calling, expecting an opinion. Romney, among other Obama critics who have also called for Copeland’s resignation, is uniquely credentialed to weigh in: He lives in the community. That made it all the more necessary that he speak out. After all, in the end all politics is local. Along with The World Outside, Romney’s neighbors also deserved to know where he stood.

Syria: An About Face to Save Face?

 Syria: An About Face to Save Face?

The PR Verdict: “B” (Good Show) for Syrian President Bashar-Al-Assad.

Call Syrian President Bashar-Al-Assad what you will – and he is being described by many names these days – and add another to the list: master of public relations. Remember the days before war broke out in Syria? A  fawning feature in Vogue celebrated Mrs. Assad and her presidential mate as the Middle East’s glamorous, modernizing couple. Such was the range and power of their PR machine.

By the time the Vogue article hit the stands, Syria was burning, and Assad was being called, at best, a dictator. The news has only gotten worse over time, coming to a head when US President Barack Obama threatened air strikes against Syria for using chemical weapons against its people.

In the ensuing debate, as pundits interviewed members of Congress on their voting intentions, one voice was quiet: that of Assad himself. Until he made himself available to American TV journalist Charlie Rose, that is.

In the interview, the man many are calling a monster was calm, not defensive. Bankers responsible for financial crimes have sweat far more than Assad, a man accused of mass murder. He followed up that calm show with an announcement: that Syria would agree to turn over its chemical weapons stockpile – if the US backed down from a strike.

THE PR VERDICT: “B” (Good Show) for President Bashar-Al-Assad. An albeit reluctantly high grade for a dictator using his PR machine to play chess with the world.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: Image need rehab? Appear cooperative. Whether one believes Assad or not, he has pounced at the right moment. The media reports that Americans are sympathetic to the Syrian people, yet fearful of involvement in yet another Middle Eastern war. Congress is at odds as to what to do. And suddenly, Assad the Impaler comes into our living rooms as Assad the Reasonable Cooperator. Timing is everything, and in the midst of a fray, heads will turn toward the calm voice of reason – no matter the source.

The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & Losers

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (GOLD STAR!) TO: Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase. Nothing beats a ringing endorsement, and Warren Buffet threw his PR weight behind Dimon by recommending him as Secretary of Treasury when Tim Geithner finally hangs up his boots. For Dimon, whose halo has arguably faded over the last 12 months, this was a shot in the arm for an unofficial campaign that still has him denying he wants the job anyway. As an outspoken banker against regulation, Dimon’s PR image has also endured the recent fracas of the London Whale losses and headlines relating to  manipulation of the energy market. However, Saint Warren’s benediction minimizes those sins. A smart move in what might be a long running campaign.

 

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) TO: Susan Rice. The UN Ambassador likely has grill marks on her suit from the intense inquisition–er, questioning being administered by John McCain and Lindsey Graham in a bid to stop her nomination as Secretary of State. At issue: What Rice knew, when she knew it, and if she even knew anything at all about the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Libya. Rice is currently being forced into a game of who-said-what with the CIA. The Administration gets an “F”  for failing to characterise this entire issue as an operational failure and instead allowing its opponents to claim it as a policy issue.  If Rice does ultimately get the job, monitoring warring nations will seem a comparative piece of cake.

 

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD TO: Gennifer Flowers. The former model and actress who said she had a long-term affair with Bill Clinton in 1992 was recently consulted by an ABC affiliate for comment on the David Petraeus affair (because…she’s an expert on politicians’ dalliances?). During the interview, Flowers took full credit for Clinton’s presidential nomination, saying that her damning press conference “made him a household name overnight.” Good to know at last how he really ascended to the presidency.

The PRV Report Card: This Week’s PR Winners & Losers

fiscal cliff 150x150 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks PR Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK:  “A” (GOLD STAR!) TO: The Fiscal Cliff. Where was this now-infamous, much-ballyhooed, utterly dreaded fiscal cliff over the interminable electioneering months? The term vanished from the public lexicon then but is now rekindling waves of panic in financial markets and cable news. Before the election this had at best medium celebrity value, but ten days later the media hasn’t stopped talking about going over the cliff and new catastrophic lows for the economy. The “cliff” is the perfect PR package: terror, fear, and and the unwanted leap into the unknown. No wonder both sides of the political debate won’t let this metaphor go. Creating urgency around this means someone has to blink first. Artful PR.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks PR Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) TO: Guy Fieri, Food Network star and owner of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar. This week, Fieri’s new Times Square establishment got national media attention – for receiving what may be the most scathing restaurant review The New York Times has ever published. Highlights: “Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste? The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?” Fieri hit back immediately – ensuring that even more people read the review. Yet one wonders: What did the reviewer really expect from a 500-seat eatery in Times Square, and will the quality of food really matter to visitors trapped in a touristic culinary wasteland?

JILLKELLEY 150x150 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks PR Winners & LosersPR BLUNDER OF THE WEEK TO: Jill Kelley’s brother David Khawam. He hit the airwaves hoping to move the dial on the national fascination with his socialite sister Jill Kelley, who is intimately involved in the Petraeus scandal. Springing to her defense, he claims it is ‘ludicrous” to think his sister had an affair with Petraeus. “She has three kids and is a dedicated wife,” he protested. A well-intentioned but awkward PR move. Besides being an unconvincing defense, the question of Kelly having an affair with Petraeus had not been seriously raised before. Was this a case of team Kelley shooting itself in the foot?

The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & Losers

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: A (PR Perfect) to Lady Gaga.  Though we had ranked her earlier this week, Lady Gaga has not stopped topping the list of trending stories right across the web.  While the world may be holding a global UN summit in New York, Gaga turned a 25-lb. weight gain into a point of pride – and a brilliant PR maneuver.  The coverage keeps on being generated following the launch of her Body Revolution, a forum urging acceptance for less than perfect physiques. A media masterstroke that has put more serious global issues in the shade.

 

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: F (Full Fiasco) for Team Romney. The latest Gallup Poll shows Mitt Romney trailing behind Barack Obama by six points. It’s not hard to guess that the number 47 figured into that percentage somehow. With just over a month until Election Day, Team Romney must come up with a serious plan to halt this free-fall. The announcement of a genuinely new and unexpected economic plan might just reset the debate. Something fresh and unexpected is needed. Any suggestions?

 

 

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHE PRV AWARD FOR BRAND CONSISTENCY: Samuel L. Jackson for his “Wake the F*ck Up” political bedtime story. The actor, so well known for his expletive-laced lines in films and real life that he’s usually called “Samuel Motherf*ckin’ Jackson,”  cuts through indistinct attack ads with a punchy pro-Obama rant. In rhyme!  While it may not encourage anyone to change their vote on the big day, Jackson has successfully reinforced his own brand without talking about himself  – the secret to all successful PR.

Bachmann’s Accusations Backfire

 Bachmanns Accusations Backfire

The PR Verdict: “D” (PR Problematic) for Michele Bachmann.

Michele Bachmann, former Republican nominee, recently brought to the nation’s attention her concern that foreign agents are infiltrating the very highest levels of office in the US. This is her first major media moment since announcing application for dual citizenship (her husband is Swiss) and quickly retracting after embarrassingly negative outcry from her constituency. Signing a letter she made public, she claimed that the infiltration of the U.S. government by the Muslim Brotherhood was possibly underway and claimed that two prominent Muslims — Huma Abedin, the State Department aide to Hilary Clinton, and Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota — are tied to the organization.

Bachmann, who also sits on the House Intelligence Committee, has used her position there to lend gravitas to her allegations. But the “ouch” moment came when the committee’s chairman told USA Today, “That kind of assertion certainly doesn’t comport with the Intelligence Committee, and I can say that on the record.” Hmmm… What now, Michele?

Everybody ran for cover. Sen. John McCain denounced the accusation from the Senate floor and joined members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, shutting this news event down. Republican party officials hardly rushed to Bachmann’s defense, with her own state party Chairman “not available” for any elaboration. So far, Bachmann’s office has denied repeated followup media requests. Are they hoping this will simply go away?

The PR Verdict: “D” (PR Problematic) for a mess that still needs to be cleared up. Saying nothing won’t wipe the slate.

The PR Takeaway: As mommie used to say: Clean up your mess! With Bachmann’s accusations described as loony by the media and her congressional colleagues on both sides (who says the government can’t agree?), it is clear this PR missile is only gaining speed in the wrong direction. One voter was quoted in the coverage as saying Bachmann is the “Only one telling the truth” but then again he also claimed that President Obama goes to Martha’s Vineyard to observe Ramadan….. Before Bachmann positions herself as an unequivocal fringe outsider, it might be time to retract, apologize, and simply say this was a mistake. Until she does, the issue is unlikely to go away.

What can Michele Bachmann do to save political face now? Give us your PR Verdict!