US dream team pulls together in Barak bid

The Israeli Labour Party has called in three American PR gurus in a bid for success at the upcoming May 17 elections.

The Israeli Labour Party has called in three American PR gurus in a bid for success at the upcoming May 17 elections.

Stan Greenberg, James Carville, and Robert Shrum are the awesome team assembled by Ehud Barak, the Labor Party's candidate for Prime Minister.

Greenberg and Carville are veterans of the 1992 Clinton campaign.

Greenberg, a former professor of political science at Yale, was the Clinton campaign's pollster. He advocated melding a politically progressive message with overtures to a middle class concerned with keeping its hard-earned status. But after the 1994 election losses, his star dimmed at the White House.

However, he has an A+ client list that includes British Labor Party leader Tony Blair, Washington, DC mayor Anthony Williams, Boeing and BP-Amoco.

Carville's outspokenness makes him a favorite consultant for the media to quote. He is known for his strong defense of traditional Democratic liberals and President Clinton.

A former speechwriter for Sen. Edward Kennedy, Shrum established a media consulting business and is now considered one of the Democratic party's leading media consultants. His firm's more recent clients include US Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), John Edwards (D-NC) and Andres Pastrana, the president of Columbia.

Israel has changed its electoral system, requiring elections for the Knesset, its legislative body, to be held in concurrence with the election of its Prime Minister. 'PR matters more because of the direct election of the leader. In the past, party ID mattered more,' Greenberg told PRWeek.

A presidential candidate needs 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff. For that reason, he must work to build support beyond his party's base.

Israeli politics has seen a long list of American consultants come and go in previous elections. David Garth and Arthur Finkelstein are just some of the American consultants who have worked in past elections. Finkelstein assisted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his now-ruling Likud Party.

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