Ms. Hope Hicks
Interim Communications Director — White House
Congratulations (I guess) on your new post.
You have ascended to what is clearly the toughest communications job on the planet, with but one silver lining: You can’t possibly do worse than your predecessor, the great Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci.
While your public relations background as a fashion publicist for Ivanka is more substantial than your predecessor’s, in candor, you are more well known as a model and Greenwich high school lacrosse player than as a communications strategist.
No matter. You obviously didn’t volunteer for this, but you got it. So your challenge, simply put, is restoring some semblance of credibility to a man at least two-thirds of the nation believes to be — and again, excuse my bluntness — an intellectually and emotionally-challenged, inarticulate child (without the curiosity), whose instincts on virtually every issue are dead wrong and who therefore stands, perpetually, one small step away from triggering a full-scale catastrophe for the rest of us.
So, the odds are way stacked against you from having any discernible impact on this runaway locomotive of a Presidency. But … since the Democrats remain clueless and nobody wants to see Hillary Clinton ever again, here, from a public relations perspective, is what you must advise your boss if, in fact, he wants to remain President.
Don’t fire the generals, Tillerson, Cohn or Mnuchin
Bannon, si; these guys, nyet. They’re adults, who seem to be performing properly and winning something rarely equated with this Administration: respect. They’re all good men, but the rest of the Cabinet, meh.
Drop the monuments
Let somebody else pick up the cudgel to defend Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson or Thomas Jefferson. It’s a “no win” for you. History is not your strength, so drop it. (And while you’re at it, also forget about Gen. Pershing!)
Incinerate the Nazis
Well, not literally, although on second thought … I understand you tried to denounce these losers, and nobody listened. Your castigation was characterized as “mealy mouthed.” And while you may be lots of things, “mealy mouthed” isn’t one of them. So, continue to castigate the neo-Nazis and their White Nationalist buddies with every bit of venom you have — and you’ve got plenty.
Play to the stock market
Frankly, the market is your only friend. Its constant rise, despite your shenanigans, is what has salvaged the first six months of this travesty. At least, your defenders argue, the market is up and people are working. But now, because of your most recent moronic, self-immolating comments, Wall Street is trembling. And if the market craters, you are toast.
Never be interviewed again by The New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, NBC or CNN
They are, in fact, the enemy. They hate you and don’t care who knows it. They have, over the course of your young Presidency, abandoned even a pretense of objectivity when it comes to all things Trump. They want you gone. So, their “news” coverage is slanted — you would say “fake” — and there’s nothing you can do to change it. Get over it, and exist without them.
Listen to somebody, anybody!
Your greatest detriment — and there are many — is you simply don’t listen. That’s the real reason your popularity is so low and your one step away from impeachment. Stop believing, as the Mooch put it, you are your own “best spokesman.” Trust me, you’re not. So, start listening to the smarter people around you.
Even if you still won’t, let Gen. Kelly check your tweets
The fullest measure of your foolishness is that you are actually convinced that your early-morning death tweets are helpful. “They set the news agenda,” you say. And you’re right. When you call your own Senate leader a failure or bad mouth a business leader you need, it dominates the daily news cycle and also, by the by, drives down your credibility, popularity and respect. So, while getting you to stop your moronic tweeting may be impossible, at least allow chief of staff Gen. John Kelly to suggest edits before you dispatch your kamikaze cables.
Finally, if things continue to deteriorate and more Republicans and moderates say they want you gone, then have the decency to step away
Sure, the motorcades and military parades and sycophantic fealty are a kick but face it, you really don’t like the job; being caged up all day in that stinkin’ White House and followed 24/7 by those media vultures. So, if/when there comes a point when there are no more CEOs to defend you or rednecks to rally or Bannons to can, then do the decent thing and pass the baton to the one subordinate who has remained steadfastly loyal through thick and thicker, Mike Pence.
And watch the stock market soar, as most of us in the nation breathe a sigh of relief.
Fraser P. Seitel has been a communications consultant, author and teacher for 40 years. He is the author of the Prentice- Hall text “The Practice of Public Relations,” now in its eleventh edition, and co-author of “Rethinking Reputation" and "Idea Wise.” He may be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.