Outsider hired for Obama speeches

Jim McElhatton
Washington Times
May 5, 2011

On top of the more than half a million dollars it spends on speechwriters, the White House is using tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a public relations firm headed by Democratic image maker Michael Sheehan — once dubbed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as an “extraordinary media coach” who helped her master the teleprompter.

Mr. Sheehan’s firm, Sheehan Associates, could receive more than $100,000 under a current contract and has been providing occasional speech and consulting services to the White House since 2009, federal purchasing records show.

Although Mr. Sheehan has a reputation of helping politicians look good speaking in public, neither his firm nor its White House client has anything to say about the contracting arrangement. Sheehan Associates failed to respond to telephone and email inquiries about the hiring arrangement this week and last, as did the White House press office.

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