A Backstage Look at Political Stagecraft
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.
- Josh King - Former White House Director of Production for Presidential Events and author of Off-Script: An Advance Man’s Guide to White House Stagecraft, Campaign Spectacle, and Political Suicide
- Patty McQueen - Communications strategist, founder of Patty McQueen Communication Strategies; worked on the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns and inaugurations, and as a consultant on the 2000 presidential campaign
- Ed Emerson - Democratic political strategist and lead advance man, Hillary for America
Colin McEnroe, Chion Wolf, and Greg Hill contributed to this show.