Ever since I snagged this gig as White House communications director last year, I've gotten my fair share of condolences from friends and strangers alike. They tell me they wouldn't want to be in my shoes, what with President Bush's approval rating bottoming out. Well, if they had any understanding of how great and exciting my job actually is, they'd be trying to wrestle those shoes right off my feet and squeeze them on!
So what if my client doesn't have the best reputation in the world? In the PR biz, "bad publicity" doesn't exist. The naysayers just don't see the big picture. Sure, the prez's approval rating is at 29 percent. Sixty-four percent disapprove, and seven percent don't have an opinion. But you know what this really means? Ninety-three percent of all Americans are thinking about this man. 93 percent! Name another living human being who boasts those kinds of numbers. The name George W. Bush is on everybody's lips. Not even Angelina Jolie is in his league, and she's almost twice as hot! Yes sir, he's the guy you love to hate, but can't stop talking about!
Let me give you an example of how amazing, and amazingly easy, my work is: When American troops die in Iraq, the phone rings off the hook for interview requests. I have to turn most of them down, but that doesn't stop the reporters from calling in droves the next day when Bush vetoes a stem cell research bill. I've never once had to make cold calls to the political blogs to try to drum up some buzz for my client. Sure, we've done some video news releases that have gotten airtime in local TV markets here and there, but those are promos for his policies, never the man himself. Besides, who cares about some boring report on Medicare when all the boy has to do is make a single malapropism and he's on the evening news again!
Publicitywise, G.W. makes his own gravy. I just put him out there and let him do his thing, and that night he's the top story. Twelve months into the job, and I've gotten my boy into all the major news magazines each and every week. When I open The New York Times every morning, I do a count. On average, there are at least five stories that mention the president, and this is from a paper that hates him. Think of how he does in the paper that loves him!
To hell with Howard Stern—George W. Bush is the real king of all media! Television, radio, print, the Internet—hell, he's even made a splash on the silver screen. The whole indie-documentary genre wouldn't exist if it weren't for my client's star power and headline- making ability. Who else were you going to cast as the lead of Fahrenheit 9/11? Bush carried that flick!
Sure, he's the president of the United States, and you expect some interest in him on the home front, but it turns out the U.S.A. is just the tip of the iceberg. On all seven continents, my client's got name recognition through the roof. In the Middle East, children are taught his name practically from the cradle. Why, they chant his name in the streets. Fundamentalists even hang his likeness from poles in the streets. George W. Bush is on fire!
But don't think I'm just sitting around in the West Wing ordering takeout and playing wastepaper basketball. I'm taking full advantage of my client's socko momentum. I've lined up some huge personal appearances: serving troops fake food, showing up at a pro-life rally, maybe even a surprise appearance at Guantanamo. My guy has legs, and we're going to run this through 2008 and beyond. Hey, don't be surprised when there's a new president and Congress is still trying to untangle the Bush legacy.
I'm telling you, everyone wants a piece of him! So when people tell me they feel sorry for me, I just sit back and laugh. 'Cause I'm the luckiest guy in the world.