Hot on the heels of reports that Hillary Clinton has recruited a team of consumer marketing specialists to “help imagine Hillary 5.0,” a February 25 column by American Enterprise Institute fellow Jonah Goldberg suggests that in and of itself that act has already branded her.
“As she readies her second presidential campaign, Clinton has recruited consumer marketing specialists onto her team of trusted political advisers,” Philip Rucker and Anne Gearan report in the Washington Post, “to help imagine Hillary 5.0 — the rebranding of a first lady turned senator turned failed presidential candidate turned secretary of state turned likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.”
After a complicated tenure as first lady, Clinton reinvented herself as a potholes-and-pork senator from her adopted state of New York. Then she ran for president as a tough woman in the mold of Margaret Thatcher. Failing that, she had a careful run as the country’s top diplomat under Obama that allies believe raised her stature.
Perhaps her most significant rebranding came in 2000, when she became a popular elected official in her own right after her husband’s Monica Lewinsky scandal and after a controversial tenure as first lady. Clinton was ridiculed as a dilettante and a carpetbagger…
In 2008, however, Clinton’s rebranding went badly, starting with a misreading of the zeitgeist that had her stressing her commander-in-chief qualifications when the public preferred Obama’s promise of hope and change.
Clinton’s marketing specialists include Wendy Clark, on unpaid leave as Coca-Cola’s North American president of carbonated beverage brands and strategic planning, and Roy Spence, co-founder of the Texas advertising agency GSD&M, best known for its work on Southwest Airlines and Double Tree Hotels.
In addition to helping imagine ways to make a figure who, Goldberg notes, “has been on the public stage for nearly four decades,” come across as something new and different, these marketing experts are pondering other issues on which the fate of the nation hinges. One such issue will be “the design of the ‘H’ in her future campaign logo.” Don’t laugh. Look what a previous candidate did with the design of his “O.” Read more →