News that a Barack Obama adviser had to resign for calling Hillary Clinton “a monster” during a newspaper interview points out the importance of learning about “off the record” during media training. When we conduct media training, the rule is simple: don’t do it.
“A Barack Obama adviser has resigned after calling rival Hillary Rodham Clinton “a monster.” A campaign official told the Associated Press today that Samantha Power’s resignation is effective immediatey.
Power told The Scotsman that Clinton is a “monster” who will stoop to anything to win. She tried to make the remark off the record, but the Scottish newspaper printed it anyway. She apologized in a statement and the campaign decried the remark.
Power is a foreign policy adviser to Obama and a Pulitzer Prize winner.
The Harvard professor is quoted as telling the newspaper Obama’s team had been disappointed with Clinton’s campaign win in Ohio on Tuesday.
“In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio’s the only place they can win,” Power is quoted as saying. “She is a monster, too — that is off the record — she is stooping to anything.”
Power issued a statement today in which she acknowledged the comments but said she “deeply regretted them.”
“Off-the-record” is dangerous to begin with, but if you examine Power’s quote, she apparently did not give the reporter a chance to agree up-front to the tactic.
Instead, it looks like she rambled through the line, paused to assert that it was “off the record” (you can’t go off the record after saying something!) and continued on with the interview. That’s not how going off the record works. This time it cost someone their position and certainly didn’t help the Obama campaign.