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- Password Security Best Practices
- How would a contested election work? Five things to know
- The State of Play With a Dozen Days to Go
- Trump Allies Focus Anger on Another Target: GOP Leaders
- Are Democrats Headed For A Split Even If Clinton Wins?
- Donald Trump faces foreign donor fundraising scandal
- After Years Of Warnings, Internet Of Things Devices To Blame For Big Internet Attack
- Forget Data Scientists – Make Everyone Data Savvy
- A generation of GOP stars stands diminished: ‘Everything Trump touches dies’
- Trump, tapes, turmoil and troubles
- Trump Remarks: Ryan ‘Sickened,’ McConnell Calls Them ‘Repugnant’
- Pence bails on event with Ryan… GOP Senators & House Members call for Trump to quit… Trump: ‘Zero chance I’ll quit’
- The Internet of Things and the wisdom of crowds
- Why the Internet of Things could change politics
- Have we reached the natural limit to the human lifespan?
- Mike Pence is the presidential candidate Republicans wish they had
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- 7 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Never Do
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- The formative years: How did Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump become who they are today?
- The first Trump-Clinton presidential debate transcript, annotated
- As a Senator, Hillary Clinton Got Along With the GOP. Could She Do So as President?
- How Trump Could Win The White House While Losing The Popular Vote
- Do Presidential Debates Impact Election Outcomes?
- Is Trump the Only Republican Who Can Handle the Media Onslaught?
- For Trump-Clinton Debate, The Biggest Rules Are Secret
- Why isn’t Hillary Clinton 50 points ahead — or even 10 points ahead?
- 17 ‘Internet Of Things’ facts you should know
- There’s Nothing Better Than a Scared, Rich Candidate
- What does DDOS mean? Why should you care?
- Who does the public trust less, Clinton or Trump?
- Who are the hackers? What motivates them? Are there ‘good’ hackers?
- The ransomware dilemma: Is paying up a good idea?
- Did fracking really awaken Oklahoma’s sleeping fault lines?
- Is History Repeating in the 2016 Campaign?
- Joe Trippi: Weird Deaniac?
- Surprise: Donald Trump wants to make up his own delegate-selection rules
- Erdoğan and Putin: The Game of Thrones
- Key women are abandoning Donald Trump
- Could being profane bring Trump down?
- The Joe Biden I Know
- While we were paying attention to Donald Trump …
- The GOP Debate: Who Won? Who Lost?
- Pollster Frank Luntz sums up the shortcomings of some of the GOP candidates
- Ever notice how Swedes use humor to express important concepts?
- Social Security is called “the third rail of American politics” for a reason: Touch it and you die.
- Rand Paul campaign expects contributions to “increase big.” So is this about political fundraising or national security?
- From Decoration Day to Memorial Day: A Fractious but Very American Journey
- I lost two good and long-time friends today: Jim Brady and Gene Callahan
- Obama doesn’t seem to know how to be president
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Ken Feltman’s #PoliticalHumorMy Tweets
By Ken Feltman
One of the worst habits of political consultants is our tendency to criticize other consultants. This is especially true when the criticism involves a candidate’s behavior. Often, no matter what the consultant advises, the candidate does something else. If disaster results, media coverage zooms in on the candidate. But we consultants tend to rip into our consulting competitors.
Legendary political consultant Joseph Napolitan, co-founder of the International Association of Political Consultants, once remarked on the “vulture inside every consultant.” He and I sometimes did a “Frick and Frack” show in presidential election years. First, he discussed the Democratic candidates and appraised their chances and I examined the Republicans. Then, we switched and he took after the Republicans and their campaigns while I dissected the Democrats.
We noticed that both of us were more brutal in blaming our own party’s consultants for what may have been sins of the candidates. Initially, we concluded that this was a result of familiarity: We knew the consultants in our own party better than those of the other party and, therefore, could make more insightful judgments about practitioners from our own party. Soon, we concluded that we were wrong.
Within a few days, we gave very similar presentations to a group of young corporate CEOs in New York and then to our consulting peers at a meeting in Europe. The CEOs focused on issues and the candidates. In a dispassionate and analytical way, they probed what we knew about the budgets, fundraising, advertising and strategies of the candidates. The CEOs wanted to find out which candidates, because of their skills at building strong campaign staffs, had the inside track on victory.
The European meeting was different. Almost immediately, the consultants – from all across the world – delved into the personalities and past successes and failures of the consultants for the various campaigns. The consultants at the international meeting from parties on the left were much harsher on American Democratic consultants. Those from right-leaning parties were tough on Republican consultants. Whether from actual knowledge or just plain jealousy, the folks on both the left and the right bashed their ideological counterparts in the United States. Joe and I decided that competitive juices were at work. Joe commented that there is a vulture inside each of us. We cannot help ourselves. But each of us can be aware of our own frailties and our own human nature.
I was reminded of this a few days ago when I joined some GOP political consultants, media producers and pollsters gathered in a Washington watering hole with a couple of political reporters. Quickly, the discussion was directed by the reporters to what they called the troubles with Mitt Romney’s campaign. Like vultures, the Republican consultants descended on their prey.
Wait a minute! These Romney consultants did not just happen to fall off a turnip truck as Romney was driving by thinking that he needed to hire a few folks. They are seasoned, capable, respected men and women. Maybe Romney is making their job harder. We have all had our share of “difficult” candidates. Maybe Romney is a dream to work with. In the end, that does not matter. Only the winner from among all the candidates who had the nerve to put his or her name on the ballot will be sworn in next January. The consultants do not even hold the Bible or stand beaming close by as the oath is administered. At best, they are in the background and usually not even there.
Some of them will move on into the White House with their winner. All of them – whether with the winner or one of the many losers – will have learned a great deal during this cycle’s campaign. They will know things that cannot be taught in grad school. They will know people who you meet only on the campaign trail. They will get the phone calls in four years from wannabe candidates.
The Frick and Frank rule applies: Candidates win or lose but political consultants gain invaluable experience no matter what happens on election day.