Tiger Woods has summoned Ari Fleischer, former adviser and White House Press Secretary under George W. Bush, to be his PR man as he plots his return to golf.
According to the New York Post, Woods is planning to compete at the Arnold Palmer Invitational March 25 in Orlando, and Fleischer is on board with the planning.
“They were in his living room this week going over strategy in two weeks,” a source said, noting that “I would be shocked if he didn’t play the Arnold Palmer.”
Palmer himself reportedly has told confidants that Tiger Woods is definitely playing. Quietly, the people running the tournament are preparing for a media crush.
As for Ari Fleischer's role?
How involved the former Bush aide will be remains to be seen, but appears he is a big part of the healing process that began with Woods' apology speech February 19.
Can Ari Fleischer rebuild the Tiger Woods brand?
Knowing he eventually has to stand before people publicly and take questions, which he didn't then, is why Woods sought out the advice of the renowned spin doctor.
After resigning his White House post, he formed Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, focusing on crisis response and control, in partnership with IMG Sports agency.
Woods is repped by IMG (and has been counseled by Obama and Clinton).
Amid his admission to steroid use, disgraced baseball star Mark McGwire is a Fleischer client. He also advised the Green Bay Packers following their divorce with Brett Favre, and the NCAA on how to repair the image of college football's BCS.
Good luck with that one.
On one hand, Fleischer has his work cut out after everything Tiger did to sabotage his own image. On the other hand, Tiger's already back together with Elin Woods, and it's not like his current handlers could possibly have done a worse job.
What do you think? Can Tiger's image be salvaged by Ari?