JOHN POLLACK has provided strategic counsel to candidates, government leaders and public institutions for more than 20 years. As a Presidential Speechwriter for Bill Clinton, he helped articulate national policy and persuade citizens on a wide range of issues, including economics, the environment, historic preservation, education and innovation. Prior to his service at The White House, John worked as the chief speechwriter for House Democratic Whip David Bonior, on Capitol Hill. There, he helped influence national debate on globalization, domestic policy, humanitarian intervention, impeachment, civil rights and the environment.
John arrived in Washington after working as a journalist and in a range of roles on gubernatorial, congressional, senate and public interest campaigns. In those political endeavors he worked as a field organizer, canvasser, opposition researcher, communications director and campaign manager. For the past there Presidential elections, he has served as a speechwriter in the “boiler room” at the Democratic National Convention, drafting and editing speeches for some of the nation’s most compelling speakers.
This rich, rough-and-tumble experience has helped John develop an acute sense for the nuances of strategy, framing, messaging, and persuasion – a talent he brings to bear for public sector clients seeking to influence opinion and inspire action.
Over time, John’s approach has evolved to focus on the effective use of analogy. Broadly defined, an analogy is a comparison that asserts a parallel, explicit or implicit, between two distinct things based on the perception of a shared property or relation. And although analogies often operate subtly or even unnoticed, they all make an argument. And whether someone aims to define an opponent, prevail in a debate or claim victory in a campaign, whoever makes the best analogy usually wins.
Not all persuasive analogies are true or lead to positive outcomes, though. For example, the so-called “domino theory” — at once succinct, simple and seductive — misled the United States into the morass of Vietnam, yet turned out to be utterly wrong. Similarly, a spate of “Three Strikes and You’re Out” laws in the 1990s drew on the popularity of baseball to sell the notion of final and definitive justice, but ended up filling America’s prisons with shoplifters and other non-violent offenders at an annual cost of $75 billion. In short, the analogies we embrace carry consequences, and it’s important to choose them carefully — or pay the price.
Known for his curiosity, creativity, insight and enthusiasm, John works with clients to help them:
- Recognize the analogies that define and impact their performance in the public arena
- Better identify their challenges and opportunities
- Develop analogies that reframe the terms of debate
- Articulate arguments that persuade more effectively
- Design and execute strategies to achieve their goals
To explore possibilities, contact John at John.David.Pollack@gmail.com.