Dr. Paul: For the Love of God, Hire Better Press Relations People!Submitted by JackParkman on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 00:04
From early on in 2007, I recognized a problem. Ron Paul tends to surround himself with loyal individuals who share his philosophy, and appears to feel that sharpening his message with the help of media relations professionals is too "slick" for his liking.
I've talked to and met many kind, intelligent people working for Paul. Jesse Benton struck me as smart and easy to get along with. Kent Snyder, may he rest in peace, was a long-time ally of Paul's and very knowledgeable.
But, to be blunt, the people handling Paul's press relations, then and now, have been out of their league.
Much of the presidential campaign's PR was generated by independent grassroots action. Aside from the "Rudy Giuliani Book Club," I can't think of a single wise PR initiative that generated any real coverage. But I can think of ill-fated interviews, defamatory nonsense on major news networks that went unanswered, and now I see a titanic PR screwup.
Someone approved an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen. This happened in 2008, in the middle of the primary season. This was almost 2 years after the film Borat came out. It was over 5 years since the false person Cohen was using, "Bruno," became known to U.S. audiences in the hit HBO show "Da Ali G Show," on which Cohen would use three false personas to conduct sham interviews with politicians.
The fact of the matter is, being a press relations staffer for Ron Paul isn't the toughest job in the world. Compared to other candidates, Paul prefers to speak on his own behalf much more than the norm. A Paul press relations staffer's primary job is to prevent disasters like this. Even if you're unable to recognize a scam like this before it starts, you have to be a heartbeat away and ready to pull your candidate out of a potentially embarrassing situation. But whoever was with Dr. Paul allowed the disastrous ordeal to go on for FIVE MINUTES, culminating in him being shocked and blurting out potentially offensive reactions (even shouting that the interviewer "a queer").
A staffer who does their job effectively would never let such an interview take place. A staffer who does their job competently would smell something is going on long before the candidate gets uncomfortable. And NO STAFFER worthy of earning a salary would EVER allow their candidate to be closed off in a room where an unknown interview who looks like Bruno starts dancing with champagne on the table.
Paul's campaign people failed on an epic scale.
Ron Paul's candidacy achieved many great successes, but I think it's time we evaluate why those successes were realized. In large part they were about the great ideas of a great man -- who is sadly not a prototypical political candidate. And the engine pushing those ideas forward was the grassroots. The campaign itself was an unmitigated disaster run by individuals with impressive libertarian bona fides but lacking practical campaign skills/experience.