WASHINGTON, DC: Gore 2000 has revved up into high gear with the addition of former White House staffer Mark Fabiani, a move which gives the campaign a veritable militia of media-relations experts.
WASHINGTON, DC: Gore 2000 has revved up into high gear with the
addition of former White House staffer Mark Fabiani, a move which gives
the campaign a veritable militia of media-relations experts.
Fabiani, who becomes deputy campaign manager for communications, is a
war-tested DC veteran. He served in the special counsel office of the
Clinton White House in the days before the ad-ministration’s sex and
campaign-finance scandals. The Washington Post described his role as
’flacking for the administration on some of its biggest public relations
Said one DC journalist, ’He was a pit bull and a fighter for Bill
Clinton, but you didn’t get the feeling that you were being led
Fabiani joins a PR team that some observers think has been
underperforming so far. But one journalist from a large mid-Atlantic
metropolitan daily who has traveled with the Gore campaign suggested
that Fabiani, while very experienced at dealing with the press, may not
be the tonic needed to achieve better press relations.
’The vice president’s got a staff available to you - it’s the vice
president who’s not,’ said the journalist. ’People get along just fine
with the staff.’
Frank Schubert, a partner in the Roseville, CA, office of Goddard
Claussen Porter Novelli, said he believes one of the campaign’s problems
is not that it shies away from throwing punches, but rather that Gore
himself is throwing them. ’It’s awfully darn early for that,’ Schubert
said, adding that Gore has yet to define himself in the eyes of the
Democratic consultant Steven McMahon, on the other hand, thinks that the
back-and-forth bickering between Gore and Bush is ’typical in a
high-stakes race’ and that the VP should focus on traditional Democratic
issues such as healthcare, education and Social Security.
But McMahon cautions that Gore’s best bet would be to save his most
trenchant criticism of Bush’s plans - which he has described as ’risky
and threatening’ - for later in the year.