When asked about Senator Ted Cruz last week, former speaker John Boehner made his feelings known. In case anyone thought otherwise, there is now no confusion over how Boehner feels towards Cruz and consequently who he’ll vote for in November.
Got it. Thanks.
But what did Boehner gain by taking off the kid gloves? And is his tactic worth repeating? It depends on what he was trying to accomplish. Two things are for sure:
- The media appreciated Boehner’s candor as the headlines wrote themselves for a few days.
- His abrasive language probably won him some cool kid points. As the current state of politics has demonstrated, there is a sizable voter base that craves this kind of truthfulness (*cough cough* Donald Trump).
All in all, not a terrible fallout…if your goal isn’t elected office or a policy change. But what if it is? Does DMG recommend you follow Boehner’s lead when a reporter asks you to comment on someone you don’t like?
Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.
Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:
Q: “What do you think about <insert name>?”
B²: “He/she and I definitely have some differences, which is why I propose <insert talking point>.”
Wherever you take the conversation next, don’t assess motive. It’s permissible to criticize policy, but don’t make it personal. Doing so never ends well – the news cycle grabs hold of your negative statement and plays it on repeat for days thereby turning the conversation from substantive to superficial. The result? The audience knows you’ll never pick so-and-so to play on your team, but the message you carefully crafted and wanted to communicate was never heard – major bummer.