Managing the News: The Bush Communications Operation
This chapter examines the Bush White House's communications operation, including its basic functions and the staff requirements of each. Special attention is given to the need for both long-term planning and coordination for offensive efforts and for an organization capable of quick-response defensive moves. In the first term, the White House was able to set priorities, plan ahead, coordinate among government units, and stick with the plan, making news on the president's terms. The administration has been less successful, however, in handling unanticipated situations and criticisms of the president, and in responding to what others wanted to talk about. At the same time, there were natural limits to what communications operations can do that depend upon the president himself, the difficulties in most administrations of admitting communications problems, and the troubles that come with promoting unpopular policies.
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