Hillary Clinton’s Publicist Defends Himself for a Change


Philippe Reines is not easily amused, and he’s definitely not too fond of the jokers at BuzzFeed.

Yet, given the insidious rumor that his boss Hillary Clinton might just run for president in 2016, he could become the best-known publicist in Washington over the next 30-and-change months. Reines’s recent New York magazine profile is well worth a look—if only because he seems to disprove many of the stereotypes that interviewer Reid Cherlin and thousands of others held about him.

Despite being described as the “longtime keeper of Hillary Clinton’s image“, earning the deputy assistant secretary for strategic communications title, and founding his own advisory firm called Beacon Global Strategies, he doesn’t seem to take his job too seriously.

Some takeaways after the jump.

  • Reines claims that “he doesn’t know” whether Clinton will run in 2016
  • On the off chance that she does decide to run, he thinks she would “be better off not hiring anyone over the age of 35”, though he will get a pass on that
  • He tries to avoid speaking to reporters, but he understands why the relationship isn’t all flowers and sunshine. His impression of their thought process: “‘Oh, great, I get to ask the Clinton organization a difficult question now; I’m sure this is gonna be the highlight of my week.'”
  • He hasn’t used cash to pay for anything since June, 2012
  • He locked the TVs in his firm’s HQ “so that no one can watch MSNBC, the network that goes after him hardest”
  • While he generally “doesn’t mind” telling people to “f*ck off”, he feels “terrible” for the infamous “f*ck off” email he sent the late Michael Hastings because it made light of the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others in Libya
  • He has, in his own words, “gone way past one’s healthy shelf life” as a spokesman
  • That said, he can go more than 90 minutes without checking his phone. Can David Axelrod do that?

In other words, he’s quite sane for someone who has managed the image of one of the world’s best-known politicians for more than a decade—and chances are very good that he’ll have his hands full for quite a while.

[Pic via]

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.