Everyone and their mother has chimed in on Gary Johnson’s very sincere inquiry: “And what is Aleppo?”
Some quickly rushed to his defense: 1) claiming Trump didn’t understand Brexit and/or 2) pointing out Johnson’s authenticity in not trying to cover up what he didn’t know. Others find it appalling that a man running for President of the United States didn’t recognize the center of the refugee crisis.
Regardless of your take on the Gary Johnson fiasco, we want to analyze the mistake and recommend a way forward for him and for you (if you should find yourself in a similar situation).
So, here’s what we can learn:
Admit when you’re wrong (ahem, Hillary Clinton). If you found Johnson’s question refreshing, you’re not alone. His sincere and forthright response demonstrated humility and transparency – rare qualities among politicians these days.
That said, he could’ve handled it better. So, for Gary Johnson, and everyone else who finds themselves in a similar situation, we have a suggestion or two.
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: “Insert question you don’t understand or haven’t been briefed on>?”
B²: “Whether it’s Aleppo or any other issue, we have to be thoughtful and approach with leadership. One way to do so is…<insert talking point>.”
Wherever you take the conversation next, give a vague answer hoping for further clarification OR admit the issue is outside your frame of reference. Both responses guarantee no harm, no foul.