Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Siegel Ascending

Liz Benjamin The Politicker

I normally don't cover presidential campaign news....but let me quote one reader that commented on this article.....".I’m sure that Mr. Siegel will acquire some valuable experience in the course of Hillary’s campaign — that will benefit Eliot when he decides to run for President. " .........now.that's the kind of presidential coverage you will eventually see in this blog........hopefully sooner than later.......andy

Jimmy Siegel, the former Madison Avenue adman behind Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s much-praised cinematic TV spots during the 2006 campaign, has agreed to lend his talents to U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, in her likely bid for the White House in 2008, her spokesman confirmed Sunday.
“We’re delighted that Jimmy and Danny (Levinson) are helping us,” said Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson, referring to Siegel and his partner at their production company, Moxie Pictures. “They have consulted for the campaign, and we expect they will be important parts of the campaign’s creative team, which Mandy (Grunwald) is in the process of putting together.”
Grunwald, a veteran of former President Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, designed the ads for Hillary Clinton’s first Senate bid in 2000 and her re-election campaign last year. She is the senator’s lead media consultant for 2008.
Siegel, who worked for free on Spitzer’s campaign - his first full-fledged foray into the political arena - consulted on the video in which Clinton announced her presidential exploratory committee Saturday, but was not involved in its production, sources said.
That makes sense, since the video, which included a few abrupt cuts, wasn’t a signature Siegel production.
The fact that Siegel is working for Clinton shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since he made his interest in her campaign clear in a Nov. 14, 2006 interview with the New York Times.
‘’I obviously think Hillary is a terrific senator,'’ Siegel said at the time. ‘’I also think there are things I could do to be helpful to her.'’
‘’I think Hillary’s smart, hard-working, 100 percent qualified,” Siegel said. ‘’Where advertising could help her is, she could create a little more emotional bond with voters. People say there’s a lot of warmth, sense of humor, and wit there. That humanity has got to come out for her to win.'’
That “100 percent qualified” comment probably sealed the deal for Siegel, given the fact that the issue of experience has come to loom so large in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Siegel also told the Times that “2008 will be an inspiring year, and I could help make it memorable.”
It will be interesting to see what he comes up with to soften Clinton’s image and make her seem less scripted and more personable - the same way he took Spitzer’s so-called “anger problem” and turned it into the more positive: “passion.”
To that end, the whole “conversation with America” focus Clinton took in her announcement speech, and her expressed desire to “chat” with voters, has Siegel written all over it.

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