B²: SOTU and Executive Action

Executive actions/orders/overreach are kinda President Obama’s thing. If he doesn’t like how Congress acts (or fails to act), he’ll go it alone. As he said in last week’s press conference, “Until we have the Congress that’s in line with the majority of Americans, there are actions within my legal authority that we can take to help reduce gun violence and save more lives.”

You can expect similar rhetoric in tonight’s State of the Union address, with a likely insistence that his final year in office will not be categorized as “lame duck.” In anticipation of more executive actions/orders/overreach in the next year, do you know how to respond to a reporter’s question about policy while making it clear that the right process is important?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here’s this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “What do you think about the President’s position on X?”

B²: “While it’s important to discuss policy, a greater concern is the President’s default position to bypass Congress. Any policy proposal should be viewed through the lens of Congress’ approval as well as the President’s. And a solution we should consider is… <insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, know that separation of powers is a thing…even if the President refuses to play by the rules. You can quickly call out his strategy and still have time to propose your solution to the problem. It’s a win-win to point to what works while, hopefully, keeping misuse of Presidential power at bay.

Announcing B-Squared!

DMG is launching a new, free service to help DMG’s friends anticipate tough questions and respond in a way that isn’t career ending. We call it , “Block and Bridge.”  If you are familiar with DMG’s methods, you’ll recognize it immediately.

Here’s how it works: We’ll monitor the news, inform you of the trickiest questions, and provide the best answers. Getting to your talking point is often the toughest part, so we’re here to provide the bridge from question to answer.

Every month we’ll focus on a new topic. This month’s theme is leadership, in honor of the new Congress (of course).

Possible question:

  • Why did you vote to choke off funding for the President’s immigration orders? Aren’t you picking an unnecessary political fight?

Whatever your talking point, we suggest this B²:

  • My vote reflected what I’ve been hearing from Americans all across this country, who believe that elected officials, even those in the highest office, should follow the laws of our land. And my focus moving forward will be to <insert talking point >

The key? Don’t use the negative wording in the question. Don’t use “choke off” or “picking an unnecessary fight.” Those words/phrases don’t position you well. Rephrase your answer so you say who you are and what you support. You want your answers to be positive, not negative.

We’ll continue the leadership series and post a new  every Tuesday at 3pm ET here in January. Like or Follow us for post alerts.

Next month, we’ll get ahead of questions about the nation’s budget to help you  questions back home.  Let us know how we’re doing or if you have questions you’d like answered.

A memorable SOTU response for all the right reasons

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, can take back the response. Read how in DMG president Beverly Hallberg’s op-ed in the