Dealing with a PR Crisis
The candidacies of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are in jeopardy.
They have been “Swift-boated” by the media.
For example, Clinton may well have been the nominee by now, had she not muffed a response in the Oct. 30, 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University to Tim Russert’s question about New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s plan to issue driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. She agreed with the idea, but when immediately challenged by Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, she backed off.
In normal times, this would have been a small slipup.
These are not normal times. This was not a small slip. Rather it was 10,000 small slips, because the exchange was replayed over and over across the country on cable and network television, where it was discussed with disgust and she was universally mocked for flip-flopping.
This is the era of Swift-boating, which can change the dynamic of an election—or a business—overnight.
Whether you are in politics or business, deal with it.
On April 22, 1971, John Kerry testified before Congress and recounted alleged atrocities by U.S. military personnel in Vietnam who:
... had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
Vietnam vet. John O’Neill was so incensed that he wrote “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.” It was published by Regnery and reached No. 1 on The New York Times Best-Seller list. O’Neill was subsequently joined by 250 irate veterans of the Vietnam swift boats—many of whom had served with Kerry—to accuse Kerry of wildly exaggerating his war service, questioning his integrity and suggesting his presidency would be a danger to the U.S.