DORAL, Fla. -- According to a New York newspaper report, Tiger Woods has summoned a one-time aide to George W. Bush and an adviser to disgraced big-league slugger Mark McGwire, two guys fairly familiar with trying to salvage their reputations despite a rising tide of public opinion to the contrary.
Ari Fleischer, former strategy adviser to the younger Bush, has been meeting with the Woods camp in Orlando for the past few days and trying to conjure up a comeback strategy, to be set in motion perhaps within the next two weeks. As CBSSports.com first reported two weeks ago, Woods has been on the course almost daily working on his game, lately with swing coach Hank Haney.
Speculation continues to mount that Woods will play March 22-23 in the Tavistock Cup and make his official PGA Tour debut on March 25 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he has won six times. Both events are played within five miles of his home.
The New York Post , in its Thursday edition, cited a souce claiming that Fleisher, who established a public-relations firm with IMG ties, has been called in to help Woods navigate the mess he created with a three-months-long sex scandal that has caused his approval ratings to plummet.
Sort of like what happened with Bush during his largely unpopular second term and McGwire when his use of steroids became public.
“They were in his living room this week going over a strategy for how to handle Bay Hill in two weeks,” one source told The Post.
One question screams for clarity: If Fleischer runs a firm specializing in public-relations crisis reponse that has direct ties to IMG, which has represented Woods for more than 13 years, what took so long for Woods' handlers to make the phone call and ask for advice?
At this point, it seems a little late to be spinning the story to make it more palatable.
Read more at the New York Post.