Traveling with President George W. Bush on Marine One three years ago, then-White House Communications Director Kevin Sullivan felt confident about the coming national media event, which called for Bush to give remarks at a military base and meet troops in a mess hall. But he hadn’t expected the president to lean forward and ask: “Is this thing indoors or outside?”

“He saw the look on my face… and he knew I wasn’t sure,” Sullivan shared with those attending the Public Affairs Council’s National PAC Conference this week in Miami, Fla. “Just when I thought I really had the material mastered, I had left off the most obvious detail.”

Sullivan could have fudged, but he had already learned the importance of this lesson: “If you don’t know, don’t guess.”

Speaking on the... +Continue Reading


WASHINGTON (AP) — Searching for unity out of tragedy, President Barack Obama will honor the victims of the Arizona mass shooting in personal terms and remind those in grief that an entire nation is with them. The president is again stepping into his role as national consoler, a test of leadership that comes with the job.

His mission at Wednesday’s memorial is to uplift and rally, not to examine political incivility.

Set to speak during an evening gathering in Tucson, Ariz., Obama will remember the six people killed in a point-blank assassination attempt against a congresswoman who had been meeting with constituents outside a grocery store. Remarkably, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is showing greater signs of recovery — including breathing on her own — just three days after a... +Continue Reading


Now we can follow Tiger Woods on Twitter, find him on Facebook and check out his new “official” website.

But we still don’t have the answers from Woods that could begin to repair the damage to his reputation that started with an SUV crash at the end of his driveway nearly a year ago, image experts said Thursday.

“We’re interested,” said Mike Paul of MGP & Associates PR, “but we’re not getting the facts that we want.”

Woods is making a “preemptive strike” to get ahead of negative news media coverage surrounding the one-year anniversary of the day-after-Thanksgiving crash that ignited a scandal over his extramarital affairs.

Paul’s verdict: It’s “failing miserably.”

Anne Rivers of BrandAsset Consulting agreed, saying Woods is seen as the most “... +Continue Reading


Brett Favre makes his last visit to Soldier Field Sunday.

Assuming the Bears don’t play Minnesota in the playoffs, this has to be his last game in Chicago, right? There’s no way he comes back for another season, right?

You never know with Mr. Favre, 41, but surely he has to be second-guessing himself for returning this year. He’s playing in major pain on a dysfunctional team that could be going nowhere with a loss this week.

Plus, if he isn’t in the spotlight, perhaps the Jenn Sterger thing never happens.

Mr. Favre’s image has taken a significant beating in the wake of alleged advances to Ms. Sterger when he was with the Jets in 2008. Conan O’Brien made up for lost time by inserting a joke about Mr. Favre into the opening monologue of his new show Monday.... +Continue Reading


It was great to be invited back by Polioptics founder Josh King to co-host the show once again this weekend on SiriusXM’s POTUS Channel 124. The show is available for iTunes download by clicking here and at

You could say this week’s show was about all about sales.

Our first guest, New York City Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, joined us by phone from “the bullpen,” the open-... +Continue Reading


(Note:  Quoted below in this story regardng LeBron James’ decision to go on CNN’s “Larry King Live”)

The Cleveland Cavaliers have officially entered shakeup mode.

How it shakes out remains to be seen.

Less than a month before free agency and the draft, GM Danny Ferry announced that he would not extend his contract when it runs out at the end of the month. Ferry resigned immediately on Friday, a move owner Dan Gilbert said was made by mutual agreement.

Assistant GM Chris Grant was promoted to replace Ferry, which provides a notion of stability in a tumultuous offseason. With LeBron James set to appear on Larry King and embark on a nationwide free agent tour — hasn’t he already seen Madison Square Garden? — the Cavs press on without a coach, with a... +Continue Reading


Everyone is using Kobe Bryant as an example of an athlete who was able to rehabilitate his image and land endorsements in the wake of a scandal. They say if Kobe can do it, Tiger Woods can do it.

People, though, forget something important: It didn’t happen overnight. It took several years and much sustained success for Mr. Bryant to regain his status. Even then, his rape trial still remains part of his overall story.

Mr. Woods probably is facing the same path. And you could make the argument that it will be tougher for him because of the incredible damage incurred by his scandal.

Mr. Woods took a small step Monday by meeting with the media for the first time since his eventful Thanksgiving night. You have to wonder, if he had done the session much sooner, such as... +Continue Reading


If you ever want to find Brad Bradley, just show up at Kuby’s at 6:00 a.m. and you’ll find him there, holding court at the counter. He enjoys a light breakfast, the daily newspaper and warm conversation with the other regulars. Then around 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. the 80-something-year-old photographer is ready to start his day.

One guy in St. Petersburg, Florida, knows Bradley’s routine and will pop in a surprise him from time to time.

Such was the case on Tuesday, March 9, when Kevin Sullivan was in town and walked into Kuby’s to surprise the popular Park Cities photographer.

On one hand they are simply the dearest of friends, but on the other hand their breakfast at Kuby’s is like a meeting of two media legends.

Bradley has been shooting pictures for SMU and... +Continue Reading


Tiger Woods accomplished what he needed to on Friday in order to take the first steps on the road to image recovery. He took full responsibility for his transgressions, his contrition seemed sincere and he talked about specific personal changes he needed to make to live a “life of integrity.

He did not take questions, which was the right thing to do.

However, Woods would have helped himself even further by assuring the media that, at the appropriate time, and certainly before he tees it up again at a PGA Tour event, he will address their questions — as long as they do not cross a certain line.

He shouldn’t be expected to provide the kinds of details that certain, less than respectable, media outlets will seek. But he will have a better chance to put this behind him... +Continue Reading


Tiger Woods’s live scripted mea culpa on Friday at 11 a.m. Eastern time, from the T.P.C. Sawgrass clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., will inevitably be compared with two forms of the modern celebrity apology: one made famous by Mark McGwire and Alex Rodriguez and the second by politicians like Eliot Spitzer and Mark Sanford.

But unless Woods surprises viewers, his brief statement (no questions, please, from the few reporters in the room) will not fall into either category.

Woods is not an officeholder who has violated the trust of those who elected him. Spitzer resigned as governor of New York after revelations about money he spent on call girls. Sanford, the still-sitting South Carolina governor, had an affair with an Argentine “soulmate” that is leading to divorce.... +Continue Reading