Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

September 28, 2009
GOP candidates don't wear plaid

PLAID.JPGIf you're a Republican candidate hoping to crush your opponent, try not to have your picture taken in stripes or plaid. Do let your campaign manager be the meanie while you preach peace and love. And it doesn't hurt to be in almost supernaturally perfect health.

That's some of the wisdom attendees received Friday at a campaign management session held at the California Republican Party's biannual convention, which finished yesterday in scorching Indian Wells.

Arlington-based consultant Nancy Bocskor led the audience through the minutiae of campaigning, covering everything from how to attack an opponent to making sure campaign events are held in venues with enough parking.

The curriculum was created by Joe Gaylord, the strategist behind the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress, and paid for by Republican candidate-training group GOPAC.

The advice offers everything from tips on the most granular level of detail to 50,000-feet adages resembling what Yoda might have counseled Luke Skywalker in a tight state Assembly race.

State GOP leaders spent much of the three-day convention predicting victory next year. Time will tell how much of the Yoda-talk helps.

Read some selected nuggets from the power point presentation and handout after the jump.

Photo: Former Gov. Pete Wilson sports a plaid shirt while campaigning in New Hampshire for his failed presidential bid. Credit:AP Photo/Stephan Savoia

"An ideal candidate has thick skin, quick reflexes, inspiring vision, keen hearing, fast legs, strong back, firm handshake and a good heart."

"A challenger must demonstrate three things in running against an incumbent: Contrast. Contrast. Contrast."

"Speed kills."

"All reporters are biased, and their bias is for news."

"Republican campaigns don't use repetition enough."

"For a candidate to be the 'good guy,' sometimes the campaign manager must be the bad guy."

"To put on a successful fundraising event, you don't need a 'big name' draw, you need a big mouth."

"Keep the fundraising people apprised of the fun - raising."

"A candidate should mentally travel ahead in time to Election Day, and discuss the campaign with his/her future self"

"Attacking you can be the nicest thing an opponent will do for you."

"Before any news conference or media interview, play 20 questions."

"A party that ignores minorities will become a minority."

"Avoid the trap too many Republicans get into: unwittingly giving the campaign a summer vacation."

And finally, some wardrobe advice:

"For visual media, don't wear patterns, stripes or checks."


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