National Republican Congressional Committee communications and marketing director Ed Blakely, a former television news director and more recently producer-director for a PR firm in Alexandria, is training House Republicans to be more media savvy.
And it's a broadly construed mission, judging from a Sept. 2 e-mail he sent some GOP aides: "Dear Friend: We are in the process of jazzing up the halls of the NRCC. We're creating a new logo (just like Cadillac is doing) and we want to 'paper' our walls with photos--action shots of members of our executive committee and the leaders."
And not just any photos but some that are either "visually exciting or warm and fuzzy." He said he "would really like shots of them interacting with people rather than giving a speech or otherwise disconnected from the great unwashed."
Would these also be known as the voters?
10 Ways Terry McAuliffe Can Burn $1.3 Million
And now, the winners of the Help Me Terry Contest, who else Democratic fund-raiser extraordinaire Terry McAuliffe might help the way he backed a $1.3 million loan so the Clintons could buy a house.
And the good news this week is that Bill and Hillary Clinton may get alternative financing, so McAuliffe still has the money to burn!
So here we go:
1. "Dear Mr. McAuliffe: When chatting on the phone with my good friend Bill yesterday, he mentioned your extraordinary generosity had made it possible for Hillary to purchase a modest dacha in New York. You may have read some slanderous reports about my credit card bills propagated by my political enemies. While completely untrue, they have caused my banker, the IMF, to threaten to cut off funding for me--I mean my poor country. Could you see your way clear to guaranteeing the $640 million the IMF has promised? I, and the great state of Russia, would be greatly indebted to you!
"Of course you would be repaid and we could help out the DNC--like our communist neighbors did. Also, would you be so kind as to recommend a new bank in the U.S. to facilitate these transactions? Na Zdarovye! Your humble servant, Boris Yeltsin (FOB)." --Bradley Belt, former Senate aide now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and McAuliffe law school classmate.
2. Rudy Giuliani. "We cannot have the Republican Senator from New York living in a modest mobile home once he leaves the mayor's mansion! Rudy could also purchase a vacation home in Whitewater since the Clintons appear to be pulling their financial stakes out of that state." --Rick Casali, vice president of government affairs for the Columbia Energy Group.
3. "Help Me Terry, Hillary and I need funding for an airstrip on the Westchester property in case we have to leave the country in a hurry." --Ted Cormaney, publisher of a weekly newsletter on defense developments.
4. Steve Forbes. Buy his private island in Fiji "so some 'despicable despot' doesn't rule there." --Morton M. "Pat" Pasco, retired U.S. Information Agency employee.
5. "I suggest that Terry McAuliffe log on to eBay and make the winning bid for a conscience to give to Bill Clinton." --Douglas Murphy, economic researcher in Dallas.
6. Al Gore. "That way, he can give it to Gepetto so he can become a REAL boy!" --Kevin Cuddihy, editorial assistant at Thompson Publishing Group.
7. "Bring full voting representation to the District" by funding two pending lawsuits triggered by American University's Jamin Raskin. --Marjory Olson of Northwest Washington.
8. Pat Buchanan. "As a worthy and needy politician so he can build his own (party) House of Cards." --retired Treasury Department worker Andy Montgomery of Medford, Ore.
9. Former Republican, now Democratic, Rep. Michael Forbes (N.Y.). "A check for $500, so he can pay a college kid to paste the letter 'D' on 1,500 leftover yard signs." --Rob Nichols, communications director for Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.).
10. Henry Cisneros. "Who seems to have spent a fair of money on Linda Jones, lawyers, and a fine in that order." --Martin Angebranndt, patent examiner in the U.S. Patent Office.
Congratulations and thanks to all entrants.
Does HMO Stand for Have Merit, Overhaul?
Congress is good to go on health maintenance organization reform. But a poll by the American Association of Health Plans--the HMO industry--out today is saying that only 11 of 1,000 people surveyed say HMO regulation is an important issue in deciding who will be the next majority party in Congress.
Of course, Congress only acts on the merits, not the politics.
Former federal prosecutor--working for Rudy Giuliani--and State Department official Robert S. Litt, most recently principal associate deputy attorney general, is back, after seven months off recuperating, in private practice as a partner at Arnold & Porter.
Jeffrey P. Bialos, formerly at the Commerce Department and more recently a key State Department official on Balkans economic policy, is moving to the Pentagon to be deputy undersecretary of defense for industrial affairs.