Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Take a close look at the crisis manager that lil' ol' Peter Gleick has taken on: Chris Lehane, who worked for the Clinton White House during Whitewater and Monicagate

Gleick hires top Democrat crisis manager Chris Lehane | JunkScience.com

We would have thought good defense counsel was in order…, oh right, the Obama FBI doesn’t see his conduct as a crime.

The Guardian reports:

…In a sign of combat to come, Gleick has taken on Chris Lehane, a top Democratic operative and crisis manager. Lehane, who worked in the Clinton White House, is credited for exposing the rightwing forces arrayed against the Democratic president. He was Al Gore’s press secretary during his 2000 run for the White House…

Flashback:  Gore's Summer Surprise - The Daily Beast

Working for the White House during Whitewater and Monicagate, Chris Lehane and Mark Fabiani had been known as the "Masters of Disaster." Their specialty was the document dump: instead of stonewalling and thus further inflaming the press's curiosity, the Masters of Disaster took the opposite approach, deluging reporters with information. The White House scandal team perceived that many reporters are lazy and won't do the hard work of sifting and sorting.

Flashback: Open Left:: Clinton Surrogate Chris Lehane Working to Break the WGA Strike

Lehane is a longtime Clinton surrogate.  The Clinton campaign uses him periodically to put out negative information on Obama, as he did in June when commenting on Tony Rezko, a controversial and corrupt donor to Obama.

Campaign consultant Chris Lehane, who worked in the Clinton White House and for Al Gore in 2000, said it shows voters that Obama "puts his pants on the same way as any other politician" - something that "undermines the core Obama brand, that he is a different kind of leader."

Lehane's a Clinton machine guy.  He worked with former Glover Park partner and current Clinton communications director Howard Wolfsen to promote Michael Moore's films, through the Weinstein company that is controlled by major Clinton backer Harvey Weinstein.

Lehane has long been an unofficial surrogate for the campaign when it needs something out into the press. 

Flashback: A Washington Rivalry Turns Cinematic - NYTimes.com

A few weeks later, Chris Lehane, another onetime Washington Democratic operative, sat in a darkened post-production studio at the Skywalker Ranch here, helping to edit another political movie, “Knife Fight,” in which Rob Lowe portrays a consultant modeled on Mr. Lehane.

...Mr. Lehane and Mr. Carson are, at least in Washington, well-known products of a notoriously tough school of political campaigning, whose currency is quick and aggressive efforts to discredit opponents and critics; both served Bill Clinton.

But these days, Mr. Lehane and Mr. Carson are enjoying a new kind of fame. They are models for characters in movies that go beyond the usual Hollywood glorification of political consultants, offering dark and at times unsettling accounts of what is done in the name of winning elections.

Mr. Carson is the model for a press secretary who goes from idealism to disenchantment in “The Ides Of March,” which was released this fall. Mr. Lehane is a writer and producer of “Knife Fight,” slated for release early next year.

In “Knife Fight,” a consultant based on Mr. Lehane manages an eye-popping run of crises that imperil his misbehaving clients, and he uses questionable tactics to help get one elected. Not surprisingly, each movie has an older male candidate who has sexual relations with an intern.

Chris Lehane to Co-Write 'Knife Fight,' Movie About American Campaigns - NYTimes.com

In Washington, Chris Lehane, a Democratic consultant, is known – and this is a compliment in that world – as a fervent advocate of the dark arts of politics: the cutthroat, destroy-your-enemies, do-what-it-takes-to win approach to political campaigns. “In the last five days, it always comes down to a knife fight in a telephone booth,” Mr. Lehane said, commenting on the final days of the 2008 presidential campaign.

So, perhaps inevitably, Mr. Lehane is the person Hollywood turned to when it came time to make a movie about American politics.

The Arena: - Chris Lehane Bio

Chris Lehane is a principal in the Democratic strategic communications firm Fabiani & Lehane where he advises Democratic candidates for office; provides crisis management for major corporations; and gives strategic counsel to various sports and entertainment organizations. Lehane served as a special assistant counsel to President Bill Clinton; counsel to then-HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo; and press secretary for Vice President Al Gore during the 2000 presidential campaign. Lehane is a screenwriter for KNIFE FIGHT, a Hollywood film starring Rob Lowe as a political fixer due out in the fall of 2012.

Political guru “Master of Disaster” Chris Lehane on Weiner’s confession: “He had to rip the bandage off” | Politics Blog | an SFGate.com blog

Chris Lehane, the famed San Francisco-based political crisis communications consultant known as the “Master of Disaster,” has seen “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in press conferences — but today’s big show with Rep. Anthony Weiner was something new altogether.

We asked Lehane, the former Clinton White House spokesman and the spokesman for Al Gore’s 2000 run for President, to deliver his take on all things Weinergate in the wake of the Congressman’s confession today that he had engaged in “inappropriate” texting and tweeting (ahem) with female constituants, and lied about it.

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