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  • Indecision 2010 – Caught with Pants Down

    Rand Paul, had a week of ups and downs.

    Up. On Tuesday he won the Kentucky Republican senatorial nomination over the party’s hand picked candidate.  He was flavor of the week…for about a day.

    Down.  On Wednesday he appeared on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” and cause quite a stir by seemingly suggesting that he had problems with parts of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. There was a firestorm of follow up coverage and Paul had to do some damage control trying to explain what he meant to say.

    Up. The same day Paul was invited to appear on the next edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press” – the clearest signal that you are now a “player” in national politics and then

    Down.  Way Down.  Less than 24 hours before appearing on “Meet” – Paul pulls out, becoming only the third person to cancel an appearance on the show in its 60+ years of existence. His excuse was that he was “exhausted.”

    Bad idea.  Here is how MTP’s David Gregory led off the show:

    If you agree to appear on a television show, honor your commitment.  Have a concern about how you will be treated?  Consider that before saying: yes.

    Once you do agree to go on — there is no way to back out without taking it in the shorts and damaging yourself more than a rough interview would ever do.


  • Do You Want to Be President?

    If you are a Senator or Governor from the party which does not control the White House — and if you haven’t been indicted recently — one thing that you can count on is being asked if you plan to run for President.

    Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal got the expected question while appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press today.

    Governors Tim Pawlenty (R, MN) and Mark Sanford (R, SC) got essentially the same question on Fox News Sunday this morning.

    Even California’s Arnold Swarzenegger was asked about his future on CNN’s “State of the Union” (although host John King pointed out that it would take a constitutional amendment to permit the foreign-born Governator to run.)

    Political protocol requires politicians to say things like “I’m only focused on my current job” and “My concern is the people of (fill in the blank).”

    The trick is to declare your dedication to your current job without flatly ruling out the possibility of seeking what you really want — the ultimate job promotion.

    Here is how Jindal handled the question with David Gregory on Meet The Press:

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    Jindal made the safe play — but just once we’d like to see some politician say: “I love my job, but under the right circumstances, I wouldn’t mind moving up. Let me ask you David — would you rule out the possibility of someday anchoring the Nightly News?”


  • Senior Moments

    It happens to all of us. You are in a conversation and decide that in order to make your point you will rattle off a list of something….and then part way through your comments…. you realize that you cannot remember all of the elements of the list.

    John McCain fell victim to the problem on NBC’s Meet the Press today. Reacting to Colin Powell’s endorsement of his opponent last week, McCain tried to offset the impact by citing five other former Secretaries of State who do support him.

    Unfortunately for McCain, he drew a blank after naming four. Speak in public often enough and a similar thing will happen to you. You can’t prevent brief memory lapses but you can learn how to deal with them.

    McCain didn’t handle it well — especially troublesome for someone whose age is a campaign issue.

    The right way to deal with drawing a blank is to move on quickly. If you can’t instantly come up with the final item in your litany — remember this:

    Don’t hem and haw…saying ummmm….ummm. Just say something like: “and one other.” Then quickly say something else to make your point. Do not go back to the list. Move on.

    As can be seen in the video below, McCain tried too hard to come up with the final name. The results just further highlighted the momentary glitch.