Like most PR folks, Bernays was pretty good at putting lipstick on a pig. In this case, the pig was Calvin Coolidge.
Even better, he decided, would be leading figures from the stage, people like troubadour Al Jolson and fellow entertainers John Drew, Raymond Hitchcock, and the Dolly Sisters, whose every performance rang out with humanity and energy. One night, after the curtains fell on Broadway, a troupe of forty performers boarded the midnight train to the nation’s capital. A caravan of Cadillacs met them at Union Station and shuttled them to the White House, where Mr. and Mrs.Coolidge were waiting at the entrance. One by one the stars and starlets shook hands with the president, with Bernays acting as intermediary and the president maintaining his trademark deadpan expression. Then they all adjourned to the state dining room for coffee, fruit, toast, griddle cakes, and sausages.Bernays also worked for Herbert Hoover when Hoover was running against FDR but that was a huge FAIL.
After breakfast the president led his guests onto the White House lawn, where Jolson serenaded him with a song entitled “Keep Coolidge.” “The race is now begun, and Coolidge is the one, the one to fill the presidential chair. Without a lot of fuss he did a lot for us, so let’s reciprocate and keep him there,” he sang. Mrs. Coolidge and the rest of the Broadway delegation joined in the refrain: “Keep Coolidge! Keep Coolidge! And have no fears for four more years!”
Ivy Lee insisted that his clients tell the truth "And if the public doesn't like what you are doing, change your policies and bring them into line with what the people want." Like Bernays, Lee also realized that there were limits to rational argument: "Since crowds do not reason, they can only be organized and stimulated through symbols and phrase." Also like Bernays, Lee tried to prevent FDR from becoming President in 1932 by pushing Melvin Alvah Taylor for the Democratic nomination.
Factoid: Lee convinced Winston Churchill to agree to write a biography of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. but the deal fell through because Churchill asked for a guaranteed advance of 50,000 British pounds.