Yair Lapid speaks at a business conference in Eilat 390.
(photo credit: Ezra Levi)
In an effort to stymie his downfall in the polls, journalist- turned-politician
Yair Lapid hired a spokeswoman on Wednesday who has a history of leading
candidates to victory.
Nilly Richman, 32, is not a household name in
Israel, because she refuses to give interviews and toot her own horn. But every
client she has had except one emerged victorious.
Richman, who has
degrees in communication and political science from the Hebrew University,
started out as the spokeswoman for Shaul Mofaz when he ran for leader of the
Likud in 2005. When he quit the race to join Kadima, she became spokeswoman for
the Pensioners Party, which at the time no one gave a chance of entering the
With Richman as their voice, the Pensioners won seven seats,
getting most of their votes from young people who saw them as a protest
Richman then was hired by a group of IDF reservists protesting the
handling of the Second Lebanon War, who helped bring down then-defense minister
Amir Peretz and then-prime minister Ehud Olmert.
In her only electoral
failure, Richman was spokeswoman for MK Ami Ayalon in his unsuccessful race for
leader of Labor against Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Richman rebounded as
Likud spokeswoman in the 2009 race when the party rose from 12 seats to 27. She
continued to work for Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Likud faction chairman
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich and Meretz head Zehava Gal-On
were Richman’s last two bosses. Richman helped lead both women to victory,
although she left Yacimovich early because she had a baby.
next month, Richman will officially start working for Lapid, who has been
criticized for making many mistakes since he entered politics two months ago at
a time a consensus of political analysts and strategists considered
Since then, Lapid has only fallen in the polls as he avoided
the press and communicated to the public almost exclusively through
Lapid faced more criticism on Wednesday when he rejected calls
from war victims’ organizations and politicians to give up a post as emcee of a
memorial ceremony on Remembrance Day next month.
“Having a politician
like Lapid host the event disgraces the victims,” Kadima MK Shlomo Molla
In response, Lapid wrote on his Facebook page that he founded the
event and could emcee it without letting politics interfere.