WASHINGTON, D.C.—Patrick Dorton, a former Clinton White House aide, has formed Rational Public Relations, a new firm that will specialize in strategic corporate communications, public affairs and crisis and litigation consulting.
After serving as communications director for White House National Economic Council chief Gene Sperling during the last two years of the Clinton administration, Dorton became director of media relations for accounting giant Arthur Andersen, where he gained considerable crisis management experience in the wake of the Enron scandal.
As a spokesperson for the troubled accounting firm, Dorton was quoted in more than 1,500 stories in the past year.
“Arthur Andersen was the perfect storm of corporate PR experience,” Dorton said in an interview. “It was trials, mergers, bankruptcy talk, CEO protection and Congressional hearings all at once.”
He has signed up an old boss, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), as a client. Dorton, who was press secretary for Harkin from 1996 to 1999, will oversee public relations for the “Hear it From the Heartland” forums hosted by Harkin for the nine Democratic presidential candidates. He has also worked with the Democratic National Committee and Sen. Richard Shelby, before he switched parties and became a Republican.