Republican Debate Prep 101

About twenty years ago, while working as the broadcast producer at an ad agency, I volunteered to do the media for a Republican candidate in a race a Republican had not won in anyone's memory.  My candidate lost by a hair, but the experience was seductive. In the years since, here in the heart of red-state America, I have maintained a dilettantish sideline in political media -- writing, producing, coaching, and, most seductively, doing debate prep for candidates from state rep to U.S. Senate. Those of us in the heartland, I am convinced, have a better instinct for what wins the votes of real Republicans than do Beltway pros, especially the sort -- and they are legion -- who convinced themselves that Sarah Palin cost John McCain the 2008 election.  If media consultants had licenses, those who even entertained that idea should have to lose theirs. What I have learned in working Republican debates are some tactical guides that might best be summarized in the acronym CLAPS (or,...(Read Full Article)

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