Ruffled Feathers

Who wudda thunk it?  That Big Bird would become a political hot potato in the home stretch of presidential election season?  Only in America could that big, feathery, loveable symbol of childhood get caught in the crossfire.

There’s no debating it, ever since Big Bird was named as a target for cost-cutting by Romney last week, the yellow guy has never seen this much ink.

It all started when Mitt took the mitts off and ran over poor Jim Lehrer while he was asleep at the moderator chair.  Hard-hearted Mitt told the global audience that he would actually cut PBS, Big Bird and poor Jim if he’s elected the next prez.  (I got very nervous about my Masterpiece Mystery! addiction).  But, hey, folks, that’s at least one cut he’s telling us he’ll make.  When it comes right down to it, Mitt is showing us he can make the tough choices.

So, what did Big Bird do?  He goes on a media tour and appears on SNL with Seth Meyers.  Quite a coup for the bird on the street.

But, now the candidates are flippin’ the bird all over the place.  Obama is now using Big Bird in an Anti-Romney ad and in stump speeches, and Romney countered with none other than the Count to show that 2 can play the same game!!  It’s obvious these guys are playing hardball.

This might sound funny, but Sesame Street is NOT laughing.  They do not want to be seen as endorsing either party and want all Sesame-Street-related ads pulled. The Obama Campaign is thinkin’ about it.

Guess that means Big Bird is down for the Count.


Looks as if the polls all like the late night spotlight.  Why?  Plenty of viewers, fairly tame show hosts and they don’t need a PR agency to book the appearance.

Obama had the funniest bit with his slow jam with Jimmy Fallon.  Only our Prez could get away with something like this.  He’s still one cool, calm and collected guy and comes off like an Ivy Leaguer with rhythm.  Remember when Bill Clinton played the sax with shades on?  It was a moment like that, but trust me, Mitt, Rick or Newt could never have pulled it off.

On other channels, Romney was doing the Top 10 List with Dave in usual stiff-as-cardboard style.  I’d give the bit a C (for COME off your high horse, Mitt).  Romney might be practicing hard for upcoming debates, but there’s no way he’s going to make it to November without saying something that reminds the middle class that Mitt thinks he’s the Emperor of something.

Santorum and wife made an appearance on Piers Morgan’s show.  Looks as if Rick got a thicker hairpiece in the last few weeks, and has been eating pretty well.  While Rick kept repeating the country has to oust Obama, he stopped an inch short of throwing his support for Romney.  At least the guy wore a suit and not a sweater vest.

And on Leno, the other Ivy League Obama, Michelle, nibbled veggies and talked up exercise with Jay, who said he hasn’t eaten a vegetable in decades.

Why all the late night stops?  Because America loves its late night shows, and even if we miss them, we generally record them and play them back.  And even if we don’t do that, the videos are all over online news sites the next day.  It’s the best kind of PR anyone could ask for, if you’re good at the schtick!

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Before we begin, let’s take a moment to recognize Stan Lee for providing a phrase to sum up so many situations. No, I was not bitten by a radioactive spider but these words have never been truer.

Social media has made a great big world seem just a little smaller. It allows us to communicate more frequently, and in fewer words, than ever before. News can travel at the speed of 140 characters, updates can be made to thousands of people with one simple post and where once our verbal message could only be transmitted one-to-one, the world now hears. Great news, right?  Maybe.

I understand that Weiner has left politicians Twitter-tired, but there’s a good reason. Aside from pictures from below-the-belt, there are other things politicians don’t need to share.

We were recently asked to welcome our President to the Twitterhood.    Imagine the tweets?

  • Hey all signing some legislation while watching Gossip Girl. That Blaire kills me!
  • @mrspresidentobama I totally left the stove on this morning! Oopsies!
  • Eating scrambled eggs & fries at this great place on corner of 7th & F

Sometimes public figures are meant to just be that. While he is likely a really good, thoughtful guy, we shouldn’t know “the softer side” of the Prez. The world should see a leader and not the fact he watches the Next Food Network Star.  And if he’ll just be using it to make public announcements, he’s breaking Twitter Engagement Rule #1!

And now, when good tweets, turn bad.

The little billionaire who could…did.  He used the power of Twitter to destroy his wife with the public declaration that he had not just cheated on her but was now leaving her for his mistress.  Judgments on their marriage aside, really!!??  He ends his 140 character marriage annihilation begging forgiveness and admitting his shame. Maybe this is the modern take on the ancient notion of admitting your sins publically. Scarlet A anybody? Twitter witch trials? If you can type in 140 characters or less while submerged in water – you are in trouble.   And whatever happened to post-its?

While this is just one example, sadly, there have been worse. Twitter and Facebook are wonderful communication tools to keep in touch and stay up to date but when it comes down to real, personal stuff, maybe not so much.  In a time when anybody and everybody can shout from the rooftops, we will see who takes the opportunity with grace and who just airs dirty laundry.




know that old saying… “Never let ‘em see you sweat.”  Well, President Obama was a shining example
of that in his State of the Union speech.

a gazillion dollar deficit, 10% (or more) unemployment and a healthcare bill
that’s not yet reality, the Pres had to hit a home run…and he did.

the formality of shaking everyone in the place’s hand (guess they stock the
aisle seats with dems), Obama strode up to the lectern looking every inch the
president in his dark suit and red rep tie.

the moment he began, it didn’t take him long to let everyone know this mess is not
his doing, he inherited it. Up front, he mentioned from the minute he came into
office we were on the brink of financial disaster and thanks to the stimulus
package, he was able to steer the ship around. Just goes to show you what a
combination of leadership and a good Public Relations
can do.

addition, he addressed unemployment with a jobs program, small biz tax and loan
program, college loan program and even repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  All without a drop of sweat.

is one cool cucumber. Don’t know who does his media training (or if he ever needed
it), but the President is terrific at reading the Teleprompt-r.  And whoever wrote his speech gets an “A” in
my book.

not only did Obama blithely and almost flawlessly read his script in a
deliberate and calm manner, he also even cracked a few jokes and called out the
Republicans and the Supreme Court for their partisanship (repubs) and bad
decisions (court).

guy is a PR pro’s dream.  He’s polished, conversational, fluent and drives
home his messages.

the $64 trillion dollar question – can the polished guy who speaks so well get
healthcare passed and start fueling and funding millions of jobs all without
sending our grandkids into debt?  He’s
got the poise and the noise. If he would just take a play out of “Shrub’s”
playbook and ram a few things through Congress that Americans so desperately
need and deserve, we’d be a lot better off.

The Right Stuff

It’s been a non-stop party here in DC, the Inauguration epicenter, for the past week.  I’ve lived here for almost 25 years and never seen the City so teeming with revelers.  It was like New Year’s Eve but 1,000x brighter and with no Dick Clark (though Dick might have been here, too, ya never know).

More police cars and tinted-windowed Suburbans than ever before and at least 3 police cars per corner downtown and more as you moved closer to the Mall.  Got the feeling if you sneezed you’d be down on the ground and handcuffed.  Just picture Jack Bauer with gun out screaming “stand down” and that’s a taste of what was waiting for anyone who crossed the line.  Security was that tight…and with good reason. 

With the temperatures dropping (about 15 with wind chill) everyone who spent the days outside aiming for the Mall dressed for the part.  Ski jackets, woolen scarves, mittens of every size and color.  Multiply that by a few million and you had a rainbow of outerwear.

And every night was party time everywhere you turned.  From the hard-to-come-by tix to the hippest events to the “hey, come over for salsa and chips” last minute invites, the cheering throngs were looking for any reason to par-tay.  I stopped by one of the swankier hotels in town the other night for a burger in the lobby/bar and caught Ben Affleck, John Cusack, Tom Brokaw, John Kerry, Al Roker and Matt Lauer, a stargazer’s dream.  Not many celebs left in Hollywood lately.

Another cool ripple from this new first couple is they intend to go out on the town on a regular basis and not hit the pillow at 9:30pm the way W did.  And that all helps make DC a much more fun and glam place to live and visit.

But, as soon as the newly-minted President has had a chance to get some much needed sleep, he’s got tons of work on his plate.  Picture the e-mails you get after being out of town/touch for a few days and multiply that by about a gazillion.  Obama has miles and milestones to go before he sleeps…two wars, economy, jobs….  But I know a calm, smart, thoughtful leader is just what the doctor ordered (along with a really solid Cabinet).  And I think President Obama has already started reigniting a sense of confidence in this new America with the tangible hope that a new world order will blaze into existence (the sooner the better).