ELECTION 2000: Execs get a case of political fever

WASHINGTON: For some PR and public affairs professionals in Washington, the presidential race provided an opportunity to get intimately involved in politics, with the ultimate goal of either landing, saving or enhancing a job - or just being part of the exciting political process.

WASHINGTON: For some PR and public affairs professionals in Washington, the presidential race provided an opportunity to get intimately involved in politics, with the ultimate goal of either landing, saving or enhancing a job - or just being part of the exciting political process.

WASHINGTON: For some PR and public affairs professionals in Washington, the presidential race provided an opportunity to get intimately involved in politics, with the ultimate goal of either landing, saving or enhancing a job - or just being part of the exciting political process.

For example, Mike Collins, EVP at Shandwick Public Affairs, took a leave of absence during the Republican National Convention to serve as communications director. Liz Lubow, Shandwick group director, was tapped by the Democrats to be a press secretary in Florida.

Shandwick's policy is to allow employees to take unpaid leave, depending on client work. In addition, in the last week of the campaign, a call went out to political appointees - including those in public affairs - to ask if they wanted to go on the road.

One senior-level government PR official said he left his DC office to work in the Midwest in 'a dirty office with a number of rodents.' But being able to bring in high-level professionals has an advantage - they know how to get things done, he said. 'What normally takes three months we did in eight days.'

Back at his regular job, he said he was exhausted but 'a lot less cynical than before I left' because he was able to get outside the Beltway and work with 'average Americans.'



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