Washington Secrets

Bill's 'disaster' manager calls Hillary ready for '16

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

The molding of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's image in time for the 2016 Democratic primaries got another boost Monday when a co-manager of Bill Clinton's presidential crisis team said that the former first lady has mastered every potential disaster she has faced to emerge "more credible and more trustworthy than ever."

Christopher Lehane, who manned Bill Clinton's crisis team with Mark Fabiani, now his public relations partner, told Secrets, "Modern day presidential campaigns are in effect a protracted exercise in damage control, where the winning candidate is the candidate best able to handle a series of external and internal crises in ways that communicates to voters that the candidate is trustworthy."

He added, "One reason why Hillary Clinton would be such a formidable presidential candidate in '16 is that she has demonstrated that she knows how to manage a crisis in ways where she always protects and maintain her trust brand. Just consider how adroit she has been at State from the Gaza ceasefire to Benghazi to the handling of the Chinese dissident. In a job that eats up the credibility and trustworthiness of normal souls, she emerges four years later as even more credible and more trustworthy than ever."

He should know. Not only did Lehane and Fabiani help Bill Clinton keep his job, they have teamed up to save the bacon of several other public figures and next month are releasing their secrets in their first book, "Masters of Disaster."

Publisher Palgrave Macmillan describes it as a damage control how-to guide where the two spin doctors "reveal the magic formula you need to take control when it's your turn to be sucked into the vortex of the modern spin cycle."

The company also hints at those who should read the 256-page book, with a colorful reference to sex scandals the duo have helped out on. "Whether you're a politician caught with his pants down, a publicly traded company accused of accounting improprieties, a family-owned restaurant with a lousy Yelp review or just the guy in the corner cubicle who inadvertently pushed 'reply all,' a crisis doesn't have to be the make-or-break moment of your career. For those of us that aren't natural spin doctors, it's hard to resist the impulse to cover your tracks, lie, or act like nothing happened. But resist you must!"

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