It will be a Tuesday. November 6th, 2012 will be a Tuesday. The next United States presidential election seems like such a long time away and already there is the perception that there is political rhetoric everywhere. There is sufficient time for political candidates of every party to say and/or to do something
asinine inappropriate. Surely, there must be political science courses at universities to teach potential elected officials how to handle mistakes. If such a course exists, a working syllabus title might be "Political Squirming 101".
In the days prior to cell phone videos, mistakes were much easier to address. A simple denial was sometimes sufficient. The accuracy of a journalist's written notes could be challenged. The quality of an audio recording could be brought into question. Now, with technological improvements, such a ploy is much more difficult. Therefore, such a course must deal with more complex strategies:
misquoted: This is still a strategy that can be used. Claim that the video was edited. That was not what was really said or meant. Supply an explanation. Surely the public will believe the explanation over their own lying eyes (and ears).
misunderstood: The quote was misunderstood. Offer an explanation. Wander off topic. Elaborate. Mention American values, winning and the Constitution. When asked again to clarify, be annoyed and say that ground has been covered already. The American people want to hear about more important issues.
blame the media: Please refer to the section in the text books under: "lame stream media" and "half term governor".
become the victim: Elicit public sympathy. Note that the media always has those "gotcha" questions to exploit a trusting and caring nature. It is not nice to be ambushed by the elitist media. Look sincere if not distraught.
Next Ms O'Donnell accused Mr Morgan of a "very inappropriate, creepy line of questioning". Further, to add further insult to the attack, Ms O'Donnell suggested that what was happening was "borderline sexual harassment
avoid answering the question completely: Blatantly avoid the question. Have a standard reply and just ignore the question. Here is an example from Michele Bachmann:
never, never say "I was wrong": Although the general public initially might appreciate the candor, such an admission would appear endlessly on attack advertising spots. Top public relations firms would advise against such truthfulness. An admission of error is political suicide.
This last point needs to carry a coda. There may be a situation where there is irrefutable evidence of a misstep. There may be DNA evidence, sex tapes, prostitutes and other such data. In that case, the fall-back position is immediate therapy at a private, hopefully undisclosed clinic. Keep in mind to keep all receipts, as this may be a deductible future business expense.