Ari Fleischer Adores Impossible PR Situations
First it was trying to explain President Bush's policies to the media. Then after starting Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, he's been hired by both the Bowl Championship Series and Mark McGwire to strategically get out their unpopular messages.
Now he's the architect of Tiger Woods' eventual comeback to competitive golf.
When the New York Post was informed that Tiger plans to play in a tournament in two weeks, he hired Fleischer to help plan how to handle what will likely be a torrential phalanx of curious individuals with microphones and notebooks. I wonder if their solution will involve Fleischer being his shadow caddy, incessantly holding up that "QUIET" sign even when he's not about to tee off.
I can see why Fleischer would rather navigate the treacherous clouds of negativity in sports than in politics. It's not like there aren't a bevy of politicians that couldn't use his service (I'm thinking of Mark Sanford and John Edwards). But in Washington, one can't really be continuously hired by different partisans in need of an image spritz; eventually he wouldn't be taken seriously by anyone on either side.
One can traverse the entire sports world, however, playing the perpetual devil's advocate and helping athletes who made their own beds (and in Tiger's case, made different things in the bed) get back into the good graces of sports-loving consumers. Once you're the Bush press secretary, it's rather difficult to try and rebuild the veneer of, say, Eric Massa. Although that would be a fantastic Twitter feed to follow.