Bill Clinton speaking at the Golden Globes
Every time I see Bill Clinton associated with Samsung (personal appearances, speeches, golf outings)I remind myself that I was the one who started it all. He recently was the keynoter for Samsung at International CES in Las Vegas. I am writing this post not to pat myself on the back (that’s a lie) but to share a work experience that underscores that if you want to get something done,”just make it happen.”
With no special talents, I have made impossible dreams come true time after time just by sheer perseverance. In life, people tell us “It’s who we know,” that makes a difference. I am here to tell you that is not entirely true. I hope you share my Clinton experience with every young person you know, so they too can be empowered with the force of “tenacity and determination.”
It was over 10 years ago that I was in charge of getting publicity for Samsung’s then charity,”Four Seasons of Hope.”The event was a month away and I couldn’t get a word written about it. I took a long hot shower (my best think tank) to come up with an idea that would cause media mayhem.
I knew only one guy could do that for me, so the next morning I called the office of President Bill Clinton. An intern picked up the phone and I explained my dilemma to him. I asked the most important question, “How do I get Clinton to Samsung’s charity event?” Only six months on the job, he whispered, “Donate Samsung TV displays to his Foundation and charities.”
I immediately called the marketing executive who I reported to at Samsung, Peter Weedfald, and his co-creator of the event, Susan Grant.They both gave me their support but warned me that the PR better match the donation.
Just telling the press that Clinton was going to show got a lot of interest, but was not getting me the camera crews and gossip press. I took my plight to columnist Andrea Peyser of the New York Post who put her own spin on the story that turned out to be one of the most sensational PR campaigns that I was ever involved with.
When Andrea learned that Clinton was going to be in the same room with Rudy Giuliani (she claimed that at the time they were at war with each other) she ran a picture of them nose to nose on the front page of the Post with the headline, “Faceoff!” The story was all about how Giuliani had been at the event for a few years and now Clinton was attending to possibly steal his thunder.
Every TV station, newspaper, magazine, wire service, radio and freelancer showed up to witness the encounter. The event turned out to be SRO, standing room only. The press was hanging off the scaffolds that were built for them.
Clinton and Giuliani did not disappoint. Being the politicians they are, the stars both walked on stage from opposite sides and embraced in the middle. The crowd went wild. We once again made headlines everywhere.
Ever since then, I have had a special relationship with Clinton that he too admits was built on sweat, passion, and trust. The Samsung people now have a solid relationship with Clinton and I believe I was responsible for it all. I never hear from Weedfald even though we shared career thrilling milestones together. Susan Grant continues to be one of the greatest event producers ever to grace this earth and stays well connected to me.
And then there is Bill Clinton. I am probably one of the few he never propositioned. I never would have taken him seriously anyway. You don’t need to sleep with the man to fall in love. To quote Hillary when she was in the depths of despair over Bill’s worst antics during his Presidency, “He still remains to be the most intelligent, articulate, knowledgable, and seductive man I have ever met.”
I couldn’t agree more!