Quayle bid aborted due to lack of funds, not poor PR

LOS ANGELES: Though Dan Quayle’s presidential campaign went by the wayside last week, PR consultant Fred Davis said that the former vice president’s communications efforts were not to blame.

LOS ANGELES: Though Dan Quayle’s presidential campaign went by the wayside last week, PR consultant Fred Davis said that the former vice president’s communications efforts were not to blame.

LOS ANGELES: Though Dan Quayle’s presidential campaign went by the

wayside last week, PR consultant Fred Davis said that the former vice

president’s communications efforts were not to blame.



Davis, of LA-based Strategic Perception, faulted Quayle’s fund-raising

squad for not providing the financing he needed to promote the candidate

effectively. He had been led to believe that he would have a dollars 20

million budget at his disposal, though a sizeable chunk of that would

have gone toward political advertising in primary and caucus states.



Having to devote an inordinate amount of time raising money rendered

Quayle unable to mount the PR effort needed to counteract negative

perceptions that took hold earlier in the decade, according to

Davis.



The veteran politico recalled arranging a chat with a reporter at a bar,

which was attended by ’surprise guest’ Quayle. Davis claims the informal

sit-down showed the relaxed and thoughtful sides of Quayle that were

often obscured by the stereotype of a privileged young Republican who

can’t spell ’potato.’ More conversations like that with reporters,

according to Davis, would have been helpful in revamping Quayle’s

image.



Quayle was not the most polished politician when chosen to be the elder

George Bush’s VP in 1988, but he had matured over the years and beltway

insiders generally credited him with possessing an acute understanding

of foreign affairs. But the media kept harping on his repeated gaffes

and dishing out criticism of his general competence.



’He got saddled with a reputation, and just couldn’t get over it,’ said

one consultant. When asked whether Quayle’s PR efforts did enough to

combat his lightweight image, the consultant responded, ’The PR didn’t

work, the ads didn’t work, nothing worked. It’s a shame, because he’s

probably a brighter guy than a lot of people in office nowadays.’



Despite the budgetary constraints, Quayle used general interest programs

to deliver his message. He was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and

even allowed ABC’s Good Morning America to film his preparation for a

rival network’s talk show.



Ever the PR man, Davis suggested that freed from the campaign trail,

Quayle will be an interesting talk show guest.



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