B²: Free college for everyone!

Round 2 of political conventions kicked off last night. Leading up to the DNC’s party in Philly, it was pretty easy to guess what topics the Dems might highlight – income equality, a woman’s right to choose, and #NeverTrump. But the email scandal revealed by Wikileaks has Hillary desperate to change the conversation and court Millennials – Bern’s biggest supporters.


In order to sway those diehard Millennials for Bernie, Hillary has to speak their language by propping up the causes they champion AS WELL AS creating distance between herself and the DNC emails.

Because Hillary will cheer loudly for “free” college this week, do you know how to project a voice of reason?

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 ‘free’ college?”

B²: “As we all know, free is never free. While we agree that college should be accessible and affordable for those who need a college degree to advance in their careers, the problems of ‘free’ college should be addressed. <Insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, reiterate that free is never free. Illustrate this point by citing monetary costs (obviously), but also opportunity costs. Yes, there will be an inevitable spike in the cash money each person owes (because someone has to pay for it!), but students will also suffer when their educational choices are diminished. College is good and necessary for some, but not for all. And those who don’t need a college education shouldn’t be punished via a larger tax bill to subsidize their fellow Millennial’s skip down Ivy League lane.

B²: 1,237

If someone says: “1,237,” your immediate reply is: “the magical number of delegates a GOP candidate needs before he can be crowned the nominee.” That’s because the news cycle is obsessed with convention talk even though the main event is more than 2 months away.

It seems like the most important conversation is centered on the convention and rules and number of delegates, etc. rather than issues and how each candidate plans to govern. SAD!

But if the chatter is lively now, you can bet it will continue unabated through the end of July. Which means, if you work in (or close to) politics, you’ll likely field a question (or three) about the convention and the significance of 1,237. Do you know how to respond?

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: “If Donald Trump doesn’t have 1,237 delegates before the GOP convention in July, do you think he should be handed the nomination anyway?”

B²: “The convention is more than 2 months away. A lot can happen between now and then, and I’m going to leave that discussion to the RNC. Regardless, an issue to focus our attention on now is <insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, steer clear of making predictions or recommendations because A) that’s not your job (unless it is…in which case, feel free to proceed) and B) talking about the convention ad nauseam for the next 60+ days doesn’t do much for your message. Always redirect the conversation back to the reason for the interview. You’re in control and it’s your message the audience wants to hear. No need to throw your hat into an already too-full ring.

NOTE: This strategy can also be applied to the Democratic convention. Just replace “1,237” with “super delegates” and “RNC” with “DNC,” and you’re all set.