Huffpost Politics
Jason Linkins Headshot

Clinton Media Coach Guiding Geithner

Posted: Updated:

It seems like only yesterday that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was earning universal derision for that time he appeared in public after being hyped to the sky by Barack Obama for his awesome plans to save the economy, only to come out and stutter some vague concepts. People called for his job, the Holy Dow freaked out, and slowly, people began to wonder if Obama's wunderkind wasn't maybe in the pockets of the people who had royally rogered the economy in the first place. Well, a lot has changed!

Of course, by "a lot" I don't mean "the underpinnings of the bank bailout plan, which now rightly recognizes the insolvency of these financial institutions and refuses to give an inch on the failings of their management or seek to perpetuate the grand illusions of false toxic asset valuation that came crumbling down in a heap before our very eyes." No, no! I do not mean that at all. But, at least these half-assed ideas are now being presented according to a full-assed media strategy, leaving everyone with a full quarter more ass than what they're used to seeing. And, via New York Magazine, it seems we owe it all to Clinton White House media guru Michael Sheehan:

No doubt experience in front of the cameras, a place Geithner had spent precious little time prior to his elevation by Obama, accounts for much of his improvement. But not all of it. Indeed, many Democratic insiders point to another factor behind Geithner's marked betterment in the public-presentation department: the Sheehan effect.

The Sheehan effect refers to Michael Sheehan, the media-training guru who has served as the speech coach at every Democratic convention since 1988, laboring in a windowless room beneath the stage to tune up speakers before their podium turns, and has worked on countless campaigns. Among Sheehan's most prominent clients have been Bill and Hillary Clinton, and also the current president--whom Sheehan prepped for his star-making 2004 convention keynote and last year's nomination acceptance as well as his televised debates with John McCain. (At one point Sheehan told Obama that their goal was to make McCain come across like Mr. Wilson from "Dennis the Menace.")

Sheehan, apparently, has a "glandular understanding of words," so, maybe he can explain to me what words have to do with glands, just as soon as he's done making warmed-over Hank Paulson sound so appealing.

Geithner's Guru [NY Mag]
Michael Sheehan: The Man Who Remade Geithner [Clusterstock]
The Man Behind the Curtain [FastCompany]

[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not? Also, please send tips to -- learn more about our media monitoring project here.]

Register To Vote