Joel Sawyer knows a thing or two about crisis management in the governor's office.
He was communications director for Gov. Mark Sanford when his hike on the Appalachian Trial turned out to be a trip to Argentina to see his mistress.
Now with Push Digital in Columbia, Sawyer offered a critique of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's news conference Thursday after he fired an aide who engineered a traffic jam for political retribution.
Some of what Sawyer (above) liked ...:
1. Apologize, and don’t hedge.Christie apologized clearly and unabashedly, and owned up to the fact that though he was in the dark about the bridge closure, the buck ultimately stops with him. His planned face-to-face apology to the people of Fort Lee is a great move. He also didn’t attack his critics, and welcomed future scrutiny – all smart moves. ...
4. Be authentic, but stay on messageOne of Chris Christie’s best attributes as a political figure is that he’s, well, Chris Christie. Tough and brash, he is who he is. That rubs some folks the wrong way, but today he didn’t try to be someone he wasn’t. And, he stayed disciplined about what he was saying in such a way that hopefully for him won’t lead to future contradictions being uncovered.
Some of what he didn't like so much ...:
2. Christie left it open ended in terms of what other actions he’d take. Ideally, he should have put some sort of internal deadline on it. “I’ll hold a follow-up news conference in two weeks” or something along those lines. The way he’s left it, he’s going to get two to three days of “no further action yet from Christie” stories.
Sawyer gave Christie an "A-" with the lengthiness of the Garden State boss' news conference hurting the grade.
The whole post can be found on the political consulting firm's site.