If Clinton wants to be remembered well by history, restoring his
personal reputation should be paramount during his remaining year. He
needs to be seen as having come to terms with his own human frailty, and
as striving to achieve higher moral ground both publicly and privately
Downplay the Hollywood/celebrity connections so visible in the past.
Focus on being seen as a supportive husband and caring father. Play the
role of respected senior statesman attempting to broker legislative
consensus, not partisan bickering. That’s Clinton’s best shot at a fair
shake from the historians.
TRUST Marketing & Communications
PR only creates the perception that this is his best year ever.
Celebrate the highlights of his presidency. Identify ways that America
is better off in 2000 than in 1992 that are attributable to the
president and make that the mantra - everybody loves to reminisce about
success. Clinton’s presidential definition can be inextricably tied to
the successes of the 1990s. His final months in office should be a
career celebration like Michael Jordan’s farewell tour, not singularly
defined by the infamous soundbite, ’I did not have sexual relations with
Bill Clinton must keep working on the people’s business, but also take a
victory lap by using more visual reinforcement to remind people how his
administration made America a better place. He might do more events with
kids better prepared to compete and win in the global and digital
economy. He’s the best campaigner I’ve ever seen, so he should get out
of Washington more to help elect Al Gore, a Democratic Congress and a
certain new Senator from New York. Finally, he should do more
’spontaneous’ events - surprising a political science class, for
example, or taking someone who’s not from Washington out for a cup of
coffee or a round of golf.
Strauss Radio Strategies
The White House should look at the president’s legacy and use PR to tell
the story of his success. Clinton was largely elected for his ’It’s the
Economy, Stupid’ theme, and we are now in the midst of our longest
running economic expansion in history. With the events of last year
behind us, the White House should return to the strategies that got
Clinton elected and engage people of all ages and interests by granting
interviews with less traditional media outlets, such as Hillary’s recent
triumph with David Letterman.