Strategy and Political Technology

Strategy and Political Technology

with Ron Nehring

  • Victory in today’s public policy environment requires a clearly defined, research-based strategy, proven tactics, and robust logistics. As Morton Blackwell notes, “Political technology determines political success.” From research methods and setting strategic objectives to choosing the imagery and vocabulary for your campaign, Ron Nehring Labs is a growing resource.
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Developments

Socialism takes a hit in key Central American election

Honduras Flag

by Ron Nehring

Communism may have been relegated to that “ash heap of history” Ronald Reagan described in his 1982 address to the British Parliament, but a new strain of “21st century socialism” as envisioned by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is on the march in Central and South America.

Fortunately, that march came to a halt ten days ago with the election of a new conservative President of Honduras.

For years, socialists south of our border have led a drive to move Central and South America to the radical left.  In 2004, Venezuela under Hugo Chavez and Cuba under Fidel Castro founded the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) as a new socialist club to serve as a counterweight to the United States in the region and strengthen socialist regimes in the member states.  In the 9 years since its founding, it has grown to 9 members, all with socialist governments:  Antigua/Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela.  In addition, the group has three “observer” countries: Haiti, and the virulent anti-US regimes of Iran and Syria.
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GOP Risks a Dangerous Addiction to “Self Funding” Candidates

Money 2

by Ron Nehring

Democrats have repeatedly crushed “self-funding” Republican candidates at the ballot box, making now a good time to ask why our party appears to go out of its way to run wealthy candidates who fund their own campaigns, and better understand how these candidates fare on Election Day.

It’s been said that the road to political oblivion is lined with the remains of self-funding candidates.  President Steve Forbes, Governors Meg Whitman and Al Cheechi can each attest to how their wealth was insufficient to prevent Election Day wipeouts.

Why does our party seem to have such a bias in favor of rich candidates who can fund their own campaigns?  I count four major factors at work.

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Noteworthy

Smile, You’re On Candidate Camera

Photographer

by Rick Montaine

Congratulations! You’re a Candidate. You’ve got a great platform, a speech, a suit, and now I’d like to help you get some great action photos, too.

Before You’re Introduced
In “campaign school”, you were taught many strategies to support your run for office including how to dress for success and that you need at least two introductory speakers before you are called upon to give your excellent well-prepared, prepped, and practiced –probably without a political photographer present-speech. The first speaker is often a local supporter, with whom hopefully everyone in the room is familiar.  This speaker will give a passionate speech on why he or she thinks you are the best candidate for the position including a supportive history of your involvement in the community, and why everyone needs to remember to cast a vote for you on Election Day. The second speaker is the “attacker” of your opponent. This “attacker” educates the crowd on all the negatives about your opponent.  Finally, it is your chance to step up to the front of the room as the third speaker. As the candidate, you are the sales guy or gal. The goal is to win over the hearts of those in attendance on your top three issues. Obviously, your speech is enthusiastic, positive, and uplifting, but probably left out some choreography which could potentially get you and the political photographer present a few great photos.
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Running a winning panel discussion

Panel discussion

by Ron Nehring

We’ve all been forced to sit through them, like high school detention with a speaker: a poorly run panel discussion at a meeting, training or conference.  Like everything else in life, there are many wrong ways, and a few right ways, to build a successful panel discussion that holds audience attention and actually contributes to accomplishing the event’s goals.

A panel discussion is an opportunity to bring together several different speakers on a common topic and provide the audience with the benefit of the interaction between the speakers.  When Walt Mossberg brought together Bill Gates and Steve Jobs for a two-person “panel” at a 2007 conference, audience attention was driven by the interaction between the two technology leaders.  Six years later, more the video of the event has been viewed more than 6 million times.

There are at least four keys to a successful panel discussion.
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What Leaders are Saying

“Ron was able to bring groups together to achieve common goals. This all required patience and the ability to build consensus.”

Boyd Rutherford, former Chief Operating Officer, Republican National Committee

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