Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Will the Ottawa Press Gallery Need an American Passport to Talk to Our Prime Minister?

It was a little odd that Stephen Harper felt the need to hire two former U.S. presidential press secretaries, to join his communications team.

Ari Fleischer of course would bring him closer to George Bush, now that he's ridden off into the sunset. But why Mike McCurry?

He is a Democratic, who once ran interference for Bill Clinton.

Of course these days, he's mostly lobbying and has earned a reputation for trying to make the Democrats more Republican. He's also supposedly in cahoots with big business, selling out his principles for a piece of the very big pie.

Alas, another one bites the dust.

Scott Feschuk at McLeans, probably says it best.

Harper hires Americans to help him “brand” Canada, presumably as a nation incapable of branding itself:
Ever the generous neighbour, Stephen Harper is unveiling his own little U.S. stimulus package. Our Prime Minister has retained two prominent American consultants to help him get noticed in the United States. What – the charismatic personality wasn’t doing the trick on its own?

Bottom line: there shall be no recession in the households of former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer and former Clinton mouthpiece Mike McCurry. How much
are these guys getting paid to help our PM line up interviews in the U.S. media? Alas, the Harper government won’t say, citing the provisions of the We Didn’t Tell You How Much the Psychic Hairstylist Makes – You Think We’re Going to Tell You This?

... I guess if there’s an upside, it’s that members of our own press gallery now understand what it takes to get a question answered by our Prime Minister – an American passport and Ari Fleischer’s cell number.
If it were only that easy.

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