Tony Blair's conference speech, billed as the most difficult of his career, sharply divided leading PR pundits.
As the patches of sweat spread across Blair's blue shirt, Labour spinners were forced into action, positioning him as a 'real man', hard at work (Guardian, 27/9).
Countering that was Max Clifford, who warned that images of a highly perspiring Blair could depict a leader struggling for his political life. For a disgusted AA Gill in the Sunday Times, the image was quite simply 'the end of Cool Britannia' (1/10).
Beyond the sweat-laden headlines, Blair's speech emphasised the message that the Government was listening, and positioned him as a passionate leader relishing the fight for a second term.
Commentators made generous reference to Blair's fighting spirit and core values, which meant for some a rediscovery of socialism. 'The tone was right and they loved it', declared the Independent (27/9), and even the gruff Daily Mail noted the baring of Blair's 'political soul', which caused Cherie's eyes to 'well with tears' (27/9).
Analysis and commentary by Echo Research.
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