The amusing story of Republican congresswoman Ileana Ross- Lehtinen hanging up on President elect Barack Obama in the misguided belief that it was a prank call has catapulted this woman’s profile up the media Richter scale.
Obama, soon to be the world’s most powerful man, was given short sharp shrift just 60 seconds after calling Ross-Lehiten to congratulate her on her re-election. At this stage we can forgive the congresswoman her naivety for thinking it an elaborate hoax from a local radio station.
As a PR professional passionate about effective communication, faux par numero deux, which saw Ross-Lehiten hanging up on Obama’s chief of staff when he phoned to stress that Obama’s call was for real, was a disturbing reaction from a high ranking politician who is the most senior Republican woman in the US Congress.
Surely by then the penny, or dime, should have dropped? It then took a third call from the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee on which Ross-Lehiten sits, to persuade her to speak with Obama.
So when you receive a call telling you that Gordon Brown is on the line….