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Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Caputo’

ARKIV | Tidigare i år offentliggjordes tusentals dokument från Bill Clintons år i Vita huset. De innehåller bl.a. råd om hur man hanterar massmedia.

Memorandum 31 augusti 1995--från Lisa Caputo till Maggie Williams

Bland annat släpptes tidigare hemliga promemorior som visar hur Hillary Clintons rådgivare försökte hantera och förbättra hennes skamfilade image.

Det krävdes mycket arbete för att kunna förändra bilden av henne som ansvarig för president Clintons misslyckade sjukvårdspolitik.

Idag är Clinton en av de mer populära och igenkända politikerna hos den breda allmänheten. Clintons PR rådgivare och imagemakare har uppenbart lyckats ganska väl.

Det är svårt att se att någon annan demokrat har större möjligheter att bli partiets nästa presidentkandidat.

När Hillary Rodham Clinton 1999 lanserade sin kampanj för att bli New York senator hade detta föregåtts av detaljerade strategiska planer för att förändra henne från politikerhustru till självständig politiker.

Hennes rådgivare Mandy Grunwald hade bl.a. skrivit ner “a few style pointers.” “The press is obviously watching to see if they can make you uncomfortable or testy”, skrev Grunwald. “Even on the annoying questions, give relaxed answers.”

Grunwald poängterade att Clinton skulle koncentrera sig på det budskap hon ville förmedla. “You have a tendency to answer just the question asked,” skrev Grunwald. “That’s good manners, but bad politics.”

Tonen, enligt Grunwald, bör vara “chatty, intimate, informal.” Clinton bör använda humor om det går. Hon bör också undvika att gå i försvarsställning eller höja rösten.

Clinton fick även rådet att undvika att referera till president Clinton. Att luta sig mot sin make (eller maka) när man söker väljarnas stöd är inte att rekommendera för någon.

Philip Rucker, Washington Post, skriver om dokumenten som nu har offentliggjorts:

The Grunwald memo […] describe attempts to cultivate influential journalists who could become “fans” or “Clinton surrogates.” They also detail a push to leverage the first lady’s official travel and agenda to generate positive news media coverage, softening her image in the run-up to Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign.

[…]

In 1995, for example, Clinton’s press secretary, Lisa Caputo, wrote that the Clintons’ 20th wedding anniversary that year provided “a wonderful opportunity for Hillary” to bolster her political standing. She suggested throwing “a big party” and releasing a photo spread of the occasion for People magazine, which could later be used as part of “a nice mail piece” for voters.

[…]

In August 1995, Caputo wrote a six-page memo to Maggie Williams, the first lady’s chief of staff, with 16 suggestions to rehabilitate their boss’s image.

[…]

One idea was for Clinton to appear in an episode of “Home Improvement,” ABC’s hit family sitcom featuring Tim Allen. “Although I have some concerns that it diminishes the role of First Lady by going on a tv sitcom, it is probably worth weighing it against what we believe we might be able to gain by such an appearance politically and image-wise,” Caputo wrote.

Caputo also said that Clinton should harness the Internet — then in its infancy as a widespread medium and referenced by Caputo as only “Internet,” without “the.”

Caputo detailed plans to feature Clinton in historical contexts to help soften her image, including by celebrating the birthday of Eleanor Roosevelt, whom Clinton considered a personal hero. This strategy, Caputo wrote, could make Clinton “seem less extreme.”

Clinton has long had an aversion to the Washington press corps, and her advisers developed strategies to overcome that. One idea was for Clinton to meet monthly with the editors of women’s magazines, which could “turn the editors into Clinton surrogates.”

Caputo suggested that senior aides take White House correspondents to lunch or dinner and share “wonderful Hillary anecdotes” and disabuse them of the notion of “Hillary being in a bunker mentality.” For example, Caputo wrote, adviser Lissa Muscatine liked telling reporters that Clinton loves when Muscatine’s twin children visit the office.

Caputo endorsed a proposal from another adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, for Clinton to host off-the-record dinners with “opinion makers” who are not part of the “mainstream New York media” but rather are “people whom the New York Times respects intellectually.” The objective was to “help inoculate or diffuse any negatives that may arise in the mainstream press.”

Clinton’s advisers also looked for ways to use the first lady’s official travels for political gain. In preparation for a 1995 women’s conference in Beijing, Caputo briefed Clinton on the journalists traveling with the first lady, describing which ones she considered “fans,” “fair” or “aggressive.” Caputo also wrote that the event would give Clinton “good political mileage”; to this day, Clinton regularly refers to the address she gave at the historic conference.

Detta är lika goda råd i dag som när de gavs för femton år sedan.

Och de kan inte ha varit helt bortkastade med tanke på att Hillary Cllinton med tiden blev utrikesminister i Barack Obamas administration.

Bild: Detalj av ett memorandum från Lisa Caputo till Maggie Williams. Daterat den 31 augusti 1995. 

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