Clinton crisis manager helps NBA boss and provides advice for pols | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Clinton crisis manager helps NBA boss and provides advice for pols

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 9:26 AM

click to enlarge A MAN OF FEW, DIRECT WORDS: Doug Sosnik
  • A MAN OF FEW, DIRECT WORDS: Doug Sosnik
Good story from National Journal on the crisis management advice Doug Sosnik, an adviser to President Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal, provided Adam Silver, the NBA boss, in dealing with racist owner Donald Sterling. It provides advice for erring politicians that is  worth repeating.

* DON'T PARSE YOUR WORDS:Own up directly to mistakes. Ambiguity creates a new story. I thought, for example, that Republican congressional candidate Ann Clemmer failed to fully and directly and pre-emptively address erroneous campaign filings and the timeline on her knowledge of what happened.

* DON'T TALK TOO MUCH: Silver uttered a total of 83 words in response to the first five questions he got about Sterling. See Arkansas Republican politicians who voted for the private option version of Obamacare endeavor to wriggle in tortured circumlocutions around their implementation of Obamacare in Arkansas.

* SHARE CREDIT: Particularly share credit when traditional foes help you, like the NBA union and Silver. Bipartisanship is more popular than filibusters. See Mark Pryor's frequent use of the word.

* BIG PICTURE: Direct the public to a cause bigger than the issue at hand. In Silver's case, that meant pointing to preservation of the NBA and creating warmth for the notion by citing some good efforts it had made on other difficult issues. I think Republicans in Arkansas err in defending their Obamacare votes by focusing almost solely on the negative — how they've made improvements in bad legislation. Doesn't that still leave it, as their opponents claim, just marginally better bad legislation? They should find a higher purpose — and win some sympathy  — by also emphasizing that taking and spending all the federal Obamacare money will help hundreds of thousands of Arkansas neighbors in need. A higher purpose. People have a generous spirit. See the response to the tornado.

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