WASHINGTON, DC: Slowly but surely, Vice President Al Gore's communications squad is coming together.
Gore's presidential campaign has yet to appoint a communications director, which certainly hasn't helped him develop stronger messages. But over recent weeks, he has brought aboard several key advisors and consultants.
Carter Eskew of BSMG Worldwide has joined the campaign as a senior advisor. Eskew, a highly regarded political consultant, received his start working for media consultant Bob Squier. He went out on his own before settling at BSMG Worldwide, where he is the managing partner of Bozell-Eskew, the firm's advertising arm.
Pollster Celinda Lake has also joined the campaign. She is an expert on the women's vote?a major factor of concern to the VP, given that early polls shows him failing to hold the allegiance of most female voters.
Clearly, PR means a lot to the Gore campaign. A number of his former aides, including several in PR, form a sort of 'kitchen cabinet,' and have regularly been tapped for insight by the news media. For that reason, they are reportedly receiving 'talking points' from Gore's inner circle on a regular basis.
The VP is receiving PR tips from Kiki Moore of The Dewey Square Group, a public affairs firm. Other Gore backers from the Washington PR world include respected names such as Leslie Dach and Steve Akey of Edelman; Jim Margolis of Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns & Associates, a company that specializes in both political and non-profit PR; and Lorraine Voles of Porter Novelli.
The news media's analysis of Gore's communications efforts has not been very positive. While the Veep is striving to find big-picture issues, he has not succeeded in forging an identity stronger than 'Clinton's number-two guy.'