One Image, One Question: August 9, 2016

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Way back in August of 1979, a scion of one of the most powerful and successful political families of the 20th century demonstrated the need to be prepared when put on the stage in search of the highest office in the land.

The scion: Then U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, (D-Massachusetts), brother of a president and brother of senator who was running for president– both, as you know — assassinated.

Trump

Mr. Donald Trump, Republican candidate for president, do I have a question for you.

The situation: The Senator was being interviewed by CBS News reporter Roger Mudd on what should have been Kennedy’s chance to demonstrate why he deserved the Democratic nomination for president in the 1980 national elections. The interview took place in a safe and controlled environment: The Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port.

The question: “Why do you want to be president?”

The result: Senator Kennedy delivered a remarkably rambling, decidedly disconnected and certainly confusing response to Mudd’s simple question.

The outcome: Kennedy’s campaign was sunk. Sitting President Jimmy Carter was granted the Democratic nomination, but was trounced by Ronald Reagan.

(Read more from this online report, or view this video posted on YouTube.)

The relationship to the 2016 presidential race: Republican nominee Donald Trump, as you know, has been asked many questions since the campaign began last year, and unquestionably, he’s delivered some rambling, disconnected and confusing answers. But I’m not sure if Mr. Trump has been asked perhaps the most poignant question for any candidate running for president.

And, now for the question — pretty obvious I trust — and subject of today’s post:

Mr. Trump, why do you want to be president?

Throughout this often bizarre and contentious campaign, Mr. Trump has been asked a lot of questions, but I’ve not heard an interviewer pose the simple one above. Given his proclivity for bluster and bombast, I would guess Mr. Trump would not shrink and retreat in the manner as Senator Kennedy.

And, in the interest of fairness, I would pose the same question to Democrat Hillary Clinton. But I think we know what her answer would be.

 

 

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New Year, Same PRDude, Still Public Relations

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Leave the resolutions and predictions to the other bloggers, prognosticators and pundits.

2016On this first post for 2016, I’ve decided to dispense with the expected “forecast” post. You can google to find out what other public relations professionals think will be the top stories or developments for the balance of the year.

I’m going to continue to publish posts that:

  • Support effective, ethical public relations practices.
  • Challenge those in the media and elsewhere who equate public relations with unfortunate business decisions or propaganda.
  • Seek insight from public relations leaders.
  • Focus on news related to jobs and the employment market.
  • Address news taking place in and around Chicago.
  • Chronicle my (relatively limited, but hopefully increasing) travels to interesting places close and far.
  • And of course, comment on lots of “other stuff” that sparks my interest.

Too often, commentators — in the media, public relations and certainly many other professions — get trapped in a cycle of predictability.

You know how it goes: Start the new year with thoughts on what’s ahead, end the year with “best of” reports.

We know that politics will continue to drive the 2016 news cycle because we’re in a presidential election year. We know that terrorist organizations will continue to slaughter, spread havoc and incorporate sophisticated social media tactics to spread propaganda. We know technology will continue to evolve and greatly impact our lives and the world around us.

So, I’ll dispense with trying to share projections and stick to what’s gotten me this far since the fall of 2009.

I’ll comment on what takes place now.