When the Spitzer sex scandal broke yesterday, we got in touch with a couple of real live crisis PR professionals to find out what sorts of devious spin moves they would use to help rescue the Governor's career and his reputation from dishonor. If Eliot came to them, cash in hand, asking for public salvation, how would they do it? Their answer: what are we, magicians?
Expert #1 is Michael Robinson, an SVP at DC-based crisis specialist Levick Strategic Communications. He's an ex-NYT reporter who used to run communications for Nasdaq and the SEC, and has worked in the White House. "With regard to your question...about potential paths for Gov. Spitzer to follow, the only realistic outcome is for him to resign," he writes. Shucks!
I say this primarily because his "brand" was that of a squeaky clean politician and now it's just squeaky. It as if another famous Elliott - Elliott Ness - was in Al Capone's pocket all along. For somebody who built their entire image and reputation fight crime, his continued tenure in office just can't be sustained. As it turns out, the entire foundation of who he was (at least as far as the public is concerned) was built on sand.
Expert #2 is an exec and a respected media expert at a well known PR agency. Her take:
I think he is screwed without question no matter what he does. But, I would have absolutely told him to resign immediately out of respect for the office and out of respect for the great state of New York and his party. To prolong the inevitable is stupid, shallow and pointless
Eliot: That'll be $87,000.