B²: “Lucifer in the flesh.”

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:

  1. The media appreciated Boehner’s candor as the headlines wrote themselves for a few days.
  2. 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.

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.