With the now-rampant speculation that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs will give up his podium, here's our wish list of PR industry execs who could be a good fit (and subsequently have little-to-no chance) for the Obama administration:
1. Brian Tierney - the respected Philly ad and PR pro hasn't fared well as a media mogul -- the Inquirer and Daily News are bankrupt and out at auction -- so maybe he's looking for work? He's got political experience (Reagan and George W. Bush but he started as a Democrat), a law degree, Philly toughness, and years of experience protecting and advocating for clients. If the president wants a bulldog who can schmooze in the press room, Tierney's his man.
2. Wendell Potter - the former VP of corporate communications for CIGNA had a change of heart about his industry and came out swinging during the healthcare reform debate last year. His Congressional testimony, media appearances and book have been controversial in PR circles (hero or traitor?), but there's no question he knows his way around a communications campaign.
3. David Fenton - the CEO of PR's most prominent progressive agency, which bears his name, Fenton is a former director of PR for Rolling Stone and has handled campaigns ranging from helping the American Medical Association criticize liquor ads to protecting swordfish. Conservatives would likely go nuts with Fenton speaking for the White House, but what do they expect, a Republican speaking for the president?
4. Alan Nierob - the veteran Rogers & Cowan senior VP has gone to bat for tricky clients like Mel Gibson, Courtney Love and Russell Crowe, handling the mundane and ridiculous on up through full-bore crises, perfect training for the W.H. press corps.
5. Jay Horowitz - who's had a rougher couple of years than the VP of media relations for the New York Mets? He's had the job for about three decades and we assume his skin is thicker than steel at this point. Calm, collected Horowitz could lull the White House hacks into the apathetic daze Mets beat reporters have been in for the last four years. "Climate change? Unemployment? Let me tell you about Marvelous Marv Thornberry..."
(Image: Flickr user tyrian123)