© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A Backstage Look at Political Stagecraft

Creative Commons
George W. Bush with his Mission Accomplished banner.

During Connecticut's 2014 gubernatorial election, Republican candidate Tom Foley chose a failing paper mill in Sprague as the "stage" upon which he'd blame the Malloy administration's economic policies on the mill's demise.

The stage was set with attention to every detail -- a sunny day, a crowd surrounding the candidate, camera's poised to capture the perfect shot -- except for the one Foley's handlers couldn't control: the unscripted words of Cathy Osten, First Selectwoman and State Senator of Sprague, accusing the candidate of never reaching out to any of the leaders of Sprague to ask about their story.  

Embarrassing moments in a political campaign can quickly ruin a candidate's chances - despite the best efforts of campaign staffers to control message at a time when social media resists control. As a result, politicians are increasingly cautious of what they say, how they look, and how they interact with the public. 


Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter

Colin McEnroe, Chion Wolf, and Greg Hill contributed to this show. 

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content