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Guess if I was trying to save a dying energy company, I’d try to hire away Dick Cheney’s former media spokesperson (who just might have a few contacts relevant to government and even the oil industry), who was most recently just with my new crisis PR agency. Hope she cut herself a good deal (read combat pay)…

BP Hires Dick Cheney’s Press Secretary, Anne Womack-Kolton
Under threat of receivership and criminal investigation for its destruction of the Gulf of Mexico, foreign oil giant BP has hired a former top aide for Vice President Dick Cheney to be their new spokeswoman. Anne Womack-Kolton has been hired to be “head of U.S. media relations.” A rising star in the Bush-Cheney White House since the 2000 campaign, Womack-Kolton served as Cheney’s press secretary during the 2004 election before running public affairs in the Bush Department of Energy:

“Back in 2001-02 Anne Womack-Kolton defended Cheney’s secret energy task force,” Daily Kos contributor RL Miller writes. Cheney’s energy group met with several BP representatives, including a private meeting between Cheney and BP CEO John Browne. In 2007 Browne retired from BP “after lying to a court about his relationship with another man.”
With its stock spiralling, BP hired her away from the Brunswick Group, the international communications and crisis management firm which BP has been paying to “craft its public response to the spill.” Womack-Kolton joined the Brunswick Group in 2007 to manage “high stakes communications surrounding public affairs issues and political risk management for domestic and global corporate clients.”

…think I’d recommend immediately establishing a Presidential HQ facility at the coast in Louisanna, and have Obama start spending half his time there and in the field and at sea in the Gulf, leading the charge, surrounded by his “generals” and spending time among the workers and public. There’s not much he can do in DC that he couldn’t do there, and the “optics” as they call the PR value of such things, would be considerable, especially since he is being criticized for being remote, and also as such a field White House hasn’t been done before, or at least in recent memory.

Again, as for BP, he should freeze their U.S. assets so they can’t be moved offshore, possibly draft their U.S. employees for the “duration” and make this a government operation. True, he might be risking his Presidency, but he’s doing that, by default, already.

June 2010

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