Hillary Clinton appears to be fixing what many have described as one of the most glaring weaknesses of her likely 2016 presidential campaign: rapid response to public relations crises.
According to a Thursday report in The New York Times, Clinton is hiring Jesse Ferguson, a top Democratic press aide, to oversee her day-to-day media operations. Ferguson was previously the communications director for the the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The move comes after Clinton faced a media onslaught following last week’s revelation that she exclusively used private email while at the State Department. Her use of personal email for official business reportedly violated federal guidelines and could have left sensitive communications vulnerable to foreign hackers.
Initially, the only message Clinton offered to address the scandal was a single tweet, days after the story broke. Amid a torrent of criticism, she finally relented after a week and broke her silence with a press conference on Tuesday. But even the press conference she held was plagued with problems, including a last-minute advance notice of the event and a location, the United Nations, that was ill-prepared to handle the flood of reporters who would attend.
This led to grumblings from inside the White House about the sluggishness of Clinton’s response to the controversy. In a Times story published Thursday, an anonymous administration official compared Clinton unfavorably to the Iranian government, which has been wilily criticising US senators on Twitter.
“The Iranians have better rapid response than Hillary,” the official quipped.
Along with Ferguson, the Times also reported five other communications aides are in “serious discussions” about joining Clinton’s team, including two former DCCC operatives. One of them, Josh Schwerin, may even already be helping Clinton: CNN producer Dan Merica noted on Twitter that Schwerin’s name appeared on a question-and-answer document Clinton’s team distributed to reporters after her Tuesday press conference.
Both Clinton’s office and Schwerin did not return requests for comment from Business Insider.
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