WASHINGTON, DC: In the wake of Al Gore’s decisive win in last week’s Iowa Democratic presidential caucus, PR pros are lining up to praise him - and, in some cases, express amazement at how little time it took for the Gore camp to revamp the candidate’s image.
WASHINGTON, DC: In the wake of Al Gore’s decisive win in last
week’s Iowa Democratic presidential caucus, PR pros are lining up to
praise him - and, in some cases, express amazement at how little time it
took for the Gore camp to revamp the candidate’s image.
The big story, according to several sources, is Gore’s seemingly
newfound ability to project a casual aura. ’He put forward a much more
positive, animated image of himself in Iowa and elsewhere,’ said Steve
Daley, a former Chicago Tribune political reporter who is now a VP with
Porter Novelli. At least for now, Daley added, the expectations of
’Clinton fatigue’ appear to have been exaggerated.
Several critics pointed to a ’painful transition process’ recently
undergone by Gore as he struggled to adjust from being Bill Clinton’s
Tonto to a leading figure in his own right.
’He became his own man,’ said Hill & Knowlton vice-chair of public
affairs Frank Mankiewicz. ’He was able to shed the overpowering image of
the vice presidential staff.’ Mankiewicz also credited the Gore staff’s
move from DC to Nashville as having given the campaign a fresh
If Gore has ended up exceeding expectations, then his top opponent,
former Senator Bill Bradley, has managed to deflate them.
The ex-basketball star was viewed by Beltway pros as having stronger
teamwork among his PR advisors. Some critics, however, wonder if Bradley
staffers were looking up to their candidate rather than staring him
straight in the eye.
’It may have been that Bradley did not have enough people who could say,
’Senator, that’s a mistake,’’ said Mankiewicz. ’(Bradley) and his folks
were confident that they were taking on a weakened VP.’
Bradley’s unwillingness to aggressively fend off attacks on his
healthcare plan not only caused the news media to question his
fortitude, but also cost him a chance to snatch the Clinton mantle from
’A lot of the Democratic base think (the Clinton healthcare plan) was a
good idea and it should have moved forward,’ said Daley.