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CARLHAYDEN
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« on: August 22, 2006, 09:14:07 pm »
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I had occassion recently to reread Ed Rollins autobiography, Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms. 

One of the things that I had forgotten that is included in the Appendix of the book is "Rollins's Rules of Campaign Combat."  Ed (among other things) ran Reagan's reelection campaign in 1984, and the following 'rules' are intended for prospective campaign managers in the big leagues)

1. Always fire first.  (I disagree)
2. Always assume that your candidate hasn't told you everything and that what he hasn't told you will leak out.  (I would add, at the worst possible time).
3. If your candidate says, "Don't worry, I can rasise the money," worry -- and demand to be paid up front (amen, brother)
4. The most important hire is your candidate's press secretary.  (don't know about MOST, but he's right it is VERY important).
5. Define your candidate before your opponent does it for you. (Absolutely)
6. If it's not on television, it barely matters.  (Totally disagree)
7. An attack made on television must be responded to on television. (Disagree.  However this point was made by Rollins BEFORE the internet became so influenctial).
8. Don't let the polls drive you nuts.  And if you don't believe the numbers, order a new poll. (Totally agree)
9. In boxing you must win the rounds; in campains you must win the weeks.  (Disagree.  You've got to expect a couple of bad weeks in a campaign)
10. Election day is the ultimate deadline: a day lost is gone forever. (True)
11. Campaigns aren't democracies; don't be afraid to ignore all committes and rule like a petty tyrant. (True).
12. Don't tell your candidate what to believe; tell him how to say it. (True, and if he doesn't have firm beliefs, be VERY, VERY scared)
13. If your candidate doesn't bewlieve in anything, don't do the campaign; he's going to lose. (Loss more usual than normal, but alas not always the case.)
14. If you candidate doesn't listen to you, quit: he's a goner. (Agree)
15. Never let your candidate go on vacation in the middle of the campaign; its an invitation to disaster. (Strongly disagree.  Candidates need down time, and if they don't get it they're likely to say/do something stupid)
16. Never let your candidate control the spending -- especially if its his own money. (True.  Candidate's don't have a good perspective for this).
17. Never let your candidate sit in the headquarters.  Don't give him an office -- don't even give him a chair.  (True).
18. Be the first and last person you candidate talks to every day. (Unrealistic)
19. If you think things can't get worse, relax; they can and will (VERY TRUE)
20. Never get into a pissing match wi9th the person or persons who sleep with you candidate. (Again, very true).
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2006, 11:30:39 am »
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1. Always fire first.  (I disagree) [depends what's meant]
6. If it's not on television, it barely matters.  (Totally disagree)
7. An attack made on television must be responded to on television. (Disagree.  However this point was made by Rollins BEFORE the internet became so influenctial). [ah, alright, internet. I was thinking of traditional word of mouth at first, which should not be underestimated either - remember that Black guy who came third in LA 7? He spent nary a cent. But regarding news stories, yeah, as long as its not on tv, it's barely important. If it's really big on the net, it'll be on TV as well]
12. Don't tell your candidate what to believe; tell him how to say it. (True, and if he doesn't have firm beliefs, be VERY, VERY scared) [also tell him which ones of his beliefs not to talk about at all]
13. If your candidate doesn't bewlieve in anything, don't do the campaign; he's going to lose. (Loss more usual than normal, but alas not always the case.) [I think he's only thinking of races that were competitive in the first place here. Most US CDs would elect a brush with the right party moniker, if he's photographed nicely. Of course, this might change if the opponent came across as centrist and was well funded]
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"The secret to having a rewarding work-life balance is to have no life. Then it's easy to keep things balanced by doing no work." Wally



"Our party do not have any ideology... Our main aim is to grab power ... Every one is doing so but I say it openly." Keshav Dev Maurya
CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2006, 02:07:41 pm »
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First, thank you for your imput.

Second, with respect to his first point, I understand that Rollins is suggesting essentially that a campaign should not wait for the other side to launch an attack, but rather launch an attack on the opposition first. 

I disagree with this because often the opposing side will launch an attack which is partially (or mostly) false, and that attack can be not only parried, but can be used to discredit the opposition for future attacks.

Third, one of the most desireable developments has been the decline in the influence of the mass media.

Consider that in 1940 the mass media could foist Wilkie on the Republican Party, while in contrast the vitrolic attacks of the mass media in 2004 blew up in their face.


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merseysider
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2006, 05:04:57 am »
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I agree with almost everything Rollins says.

He's particularly right about "campaigns not being democracies". As it was once put to me, "a camel is a horse designed by a committee".

However, the point about candidates having to believe in something to get elected is twaddle. I can think of any number of people who have no political beliefs and have got elected (this includes a few people who I know personally!)
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2006, 04:58:00 pm »
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He's particularly right about "campaigns not being democracies". As it was once put to me, "a camel is a horse designed by a committee".
A camel is much better at carrying large burdens and working long hours than a horse... I've seen a single camel drag a trailer loaded with logs.
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"The secret to having a rewarding work-life balance is to have no life. Then it's easy to keep things balanced by doing no work." Wally



"Our party do not have any ideology... Our main aim is to grab power ... Every one is doing so but I say it openly." Keshav Dev Maurya
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