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December 19, 2007

Take that Tim!

Madden_2Preparing your boss for a MTP appearance isn't an easy assignment (especially when it's the full hour)!  Many a guest has recruited high-priced talent to do their best Russert in hopes of better preparing for the grilling they will receive on Sunday.  Word on the street was that former Bush Administration flack, Adam Levine did the best Russert impersonation in town.  Looks as though he has some serious competition after Romney's appearance last Sunday. 

Russert_4 From today's The Caucus Blog ... Among other small talk he shared as reporters chatted with him was that Tim Russert, the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” who grilled him about his religion and so-called flip-flops on Sunday, was a patsy compared to Kevin Madden, Mr. Romney’s national press secretary, who conducted a grueling practice interrogation to prep him beforehand.

Apparently, all those Handsome Institute instructional videos aren't a hoax after all.  Good stuff Guybo!

December 18, 2007

Donner Promoted to Director of Communications for Vito Fossella

Congressman Vito Fossella has promoted Craig Donner from Press Secretary to Director of Communications.  Donner has served as Fossella's press secretary since shortly after his special election victory in 1997.  He previously served as press secretary to Staten Island Borough President and former Congressman Guy Molinari.  Sounds like it is a well earned promotion Craig, congrats!  (PF Tipster)

Blunt Flack Amos Snead to go Back to Dittus

Dittus Amos Snead, Press Secretary for House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), is returning to FD Dittus Communications in January. The Alabama native left the public affairs firm in 2002, his first job in Washington, to head to Capitol Hill. Snead started his Hill stint at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and later worked for Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). For Blunt he's served as a spokesman, worked with national bookers for TV and radio and reached out to conservative bloggers. At Dittus, he'll be an assistant vice president on the food, health and nutrition team.  (Congress Daily AM's People Column)

December 16, 2007

Conant Named RNC's Chief Flack for '08 Cycle

Gop_logo The Republican National Committee has named Alex Conant as their new press secretary.  The news spread quick around-the-beltway and was received favorably by many in the press corps.  This well-known and well-respected flackmeister -- especially by the regional reporters he has cultivated while in his post as a regional spokesman at the White House -- is expected to assume his duties around the first of the year.  In his new role, Conant will report to Danny "two-times" Diaz and insiders tell PF his presence will have an immediate positive impact within the organization.  Originally a Minnesota Twinkie, Conant joined the White House from Sen. John Thune’s office and has also flacked as the spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget.  Another little known fact, Conant served some time as a wordsmith for then Sec. of Commerce Don Evans back when the poll numbers were still high.  Good luck Alex ... Getter' Done!  (Politico and Bulletin News)

December 14, 2007

Latkes, Vodka and a Job

Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications, well known for its annual "Latkes & Vodka Party" is hiring a senior associate with a minimum of three years of experience.

This job offers a great opportunity to work closely with many progressive, non-profit, academic, ethnic and international organizatons. Rabinowitz/Dorf focuses on planning high-profile events and publicizing a wide range of issues such as religious freedom, democracy building, human rights, women's health, campaign finance, the environment and issues ranging from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to domestic American Democratic Party politics.

Please send resume and cover letter via e-mail to [email protected]. Matt has requested no phone calls, please. (PF Tipster)

December 12, 2007

Quote of the Week: Sefl Floats Like a Butterfly

Terry_3The Hill tried to put the screws to the Terry McAuliffe, chairman of Hillary's presidential campaign, for sitting ringside at a recent prizefight in Las Vegas where McAuliffe was scene hob-knobbing with Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jude Law, Spike Lee, Will Ferrell, and Denzel Washington (Hey! I thought Denzel was an Obama supporter).  Not a cheap ticket ... but rather than get defensive about the legit inquiry, the ever-talented Tracy Sefl, McAuliffe's spokeswoman and former Wal-Mart Watcher totally diffused the situation with humor.  Without hesitation, Sefl punched back, "He's a boxing fan and boxing fans caucus too," referring to Nevada's Democratic presidential caucus process.  We want you and your stilettos in our corner Tracy!   

FEMA Fake News Conference Dubbed Top PR Blunder of 2007

HomerEvery year, Fineman PR lists the top ten public relations blunders of the year. Finally, FEMA is on the top of a list!

Top 10 Public Relations Blunders of 2007:

1. FEMA Fake News Conference

2. Cartoon Network and Turner Broadcasting

3. San Francisco’s AsianWeek

4. Ellen DeGeneres and Iggy

5. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Paris Hilton

6. Dog Food Recall and Menu Foods

7. Southwest Airlines and Kyla Ebbert

8. Famed Restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow

9. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

10. Rosie O’Donnell and The View

December 11, 2007

Rep. Herseth-Sandlin Hires Hart as Press Secretary

Herseth_3 Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.) has hired Betsy Hart as her new press secretary.  Recently, Hart was the press secretary for Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)   Herseth-Sandlin is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and sits on three committees: Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs and Natural Resources. (CQ People on the Move)

December 10, 2007

Two White House Aides Get a Promotion


The President has named Gordon Johndroe to be Deputy Assistant to the President, Deputy Press Secretary and National Security Council (NSC) Spokesman.  Johndroe has been a rising star in the Bush Administration and now has two Presidential Commissions to hang on his wall.  Before joining the NSC, he served as Director of Strategic Communications and Planning at the State Department and did a tour as Press Secretary to the First Lady.  Congrats Gordo!  One question: How are you going to fit that impressive title on a business card?

Additionally, Sally McDonough Niemiec has added “Special Assistant to the President” to her title while continuing to serve as Director of Communications and Press Secretary to the First Lady.  Before getting an office in the East Wing, the well-respected McDonough previously was a Vice President at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. (White House Release)

McKenna Named Bill Clinton's Campaign Press Secretary

ClintonLast week it was announced that Matt McKenna, Sen. Jon Tester's communications director, will assume the high-profile role of campaign press secretary for former President Clinton.  Good luck Matt!  He relieves the multi-talented Jay Carson who has been handling both his old duties of managing the communications operations for William Jefferson Clinton as well as his new job as the traveling press secretary for Hillary.  (Ambinder - The Atlantic blog)

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  • Matt Mackowiak - Site Manager
    Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, D.C. and Austin,TX-based Republican strategist and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC. In his career he has managed a winning Congressional campaign and worked in the U.S. Senate, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at a leading international PR firm, on a presidential campaign in Iowa and in White House presidential advance. Follow him on Twitter - @MattMackowiak

    Laura Gross - Contributor
    Laura Gross is currently president of Scott Circle Communications. She has served as deputy director of communications at the DNC, was Gov. Howard Dean's Communications Director and she worked in the press office at USAID during the Clinton administration. Her experience also includes time in the PR department of National Public Radio and she was part of Vice President Gore's advance team when he was in The White House.
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    Blain K. Rethmeier - Contributor
    Blain K. Rethmeier is currently the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA). Rethmeier joined AIA from the White House where he served as Special Assistant to the President for Communications and directed communications for the National Economic Council and Homeland Security Council. Prior to joining the White House, Rethmeier served as Press Secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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