Episode 60, with guests Howard Wolfson, Gordon Johndroe and Joshua Green (and guest co-host Kevin Sullvian)


Howard Wolfson, Gordon Johndroe and Joshua Green are our guests this week.
Show produced by Katherine Caperton.
Original Air Date: June 16, 2012 on SiriusXM Satellite Radio “POTUS” Channel 124.
Polioptics airs regularly on POTUS on Saturdays at 6:00 am, 12 noon and 6:00 pm.
Follow us on Twitter @Polioptics Listen to the show by clicking on the bar above.
Show also available for download on Apple iTunes by clicking here.

Now here’s a Bloomberg Businessweek cover design you don’t see everyday. They must be selling something.

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

Our first guest, New York City Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, joined us by phone from “the bullpen,” the open-space offices located on the second floor of City Hall – to talk about selling Mayor Bloomberg’s vision of a healthier, XL soda-free New York. He detailed the “tick tock” of the decision to market the proposal, from it’s infancy of an idea in at the New York City Health Department to the current polling which runs about 50/50, a constituency split on the proposal. Wolfson also weighs the difference between the media in New York and Washington and his days as the highest-ranking Democratic strategist ever to serve as a Fox News Channel contributor.

NYC’s Howard Wolfson

Wolfson served as co-chief strategist and communications chief for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential bid, was an insightful and entertaining guest. He was one of the first guests to join Josh King and Adam Belmar over a year ago back on Episode 9 and he was kind enough to join us again 51 episodes later on the 60th installment of Polioptics. I had never met Howard, but am a big fan of his Twitter feed that mixes city politics, soccer, fantasy baseball, music and his other eclectic tastes. Talking to him, he was nothing like nothing like New York magazine’s description from a few years ago that he  “looks like guy most likely to head-butt you in a bar fight.”

I am pretty sure my former White House colleague Gordon Johndroe, our second guest, has never been in a bar fight. But the former Deputy Press Secretary under President George W. Bush always knew when to sell reporters on national security policy and when to keep quiet.  With the Justice Department looking into alleged leaks of classified information to the media, Johndroe offered his views on leaks – authorized and otherwise – and the fine line journalists must walk when deciding to go public with classified information.  He also remembered the personal guidance he got from a White House reporter after briefing for the first time and discussed the polioptics of Presidential visits with foreign leaders.

Gordon Johndroe, message salesman of the Bush Administration

And for the finale of Episode 60 we went to Bloomberg Businessweek national correspondent Joshua Green, whose cover story this week, “Obama’s CEO:  Jim Messina Has a President to Sell,”is a must read for anyone interested in communications or politics.  Green “geeked out” with Josh and me when discussing the “snowflake model” of organizing information and the way the campaign’s use of digital, mobile and social media channels is revolutionizing campaign communications and making the candidate less dependent on traditional media.  It also doesn’t hurt when your adviser on storytelling is Stephen Spielberg.

Joshua Green of Bloomberg Businessweek — decipherer of Team Obama’s Tech Strategy

And a hearty thanks to Josh King for once again inviting me to be his guest wingman on Polioptics.

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