When the Bush administration figured out, in the wake of September 11,
that the country had a bit of an image problem in the Arab world, they
knew just where to turn --- Madison Avenue. They tapped a veteran ad
executive named Charlotte Beers, known for her work for American
Express and Uncle Ben's rice. She didn't seem fazed by the
transition from huckster to Undersecretary of State; in fact, she didn't seem to
recognize there was a transition
, saying in interviews,
- This is the most elegant brand I've ever had to work with
.... President Bush and Secretary Powell are embodying the
brand. That's a pretty inspiring place to start."
and informing the Senate, in an address,
"you do embody our brand --- the United States."
With that can-do attitude, and clear-eyed appreciation for the
situation, what could possibly go wrong?