Strategic Communication and Campaign ’08

by Steven R. Corman

Here are a couple of quick items from/regarding the campaign, for your reading enjoyment…

  • Yesterday at a news conference Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Jim Glassman said it would be a “great thing” for the image of the United States if Barack Obama were elected president or if Sarah Palin were elected vice president.   He didn’t say which outcome would “greater,” but this means our image is going to improve no matter what happens.   Finally a strategic communication situation were we can’t do something wrong!
  • Meanwhile a Hijab-ed Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney appeared on al Jazeera.  She spends a curiously long time ranting about disenfranchisement of black voters 8 years ago.  Not very good public diplomacy there, Ms. McKinney.  Then the commentator asks her:  McCain or Obama?  She says “McKinney.” That would be a good answer for a U.S. audience, but few if any al Jazeera viewers will be voting.  In that case an answer like Glassman’s above would have been more appropriate.