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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Compare and Contrast

It's been a long standing tradition in politics for candidates to
mix it up. The give and take often produces heat but it also produces
contrasts between the contenders which voters need to see as part of
their decision making process.
If GOP candidate Rick Snyder had his way, there would be no mixing
it up, only talking it up. Snyder has dismissed the series of TV
debates sponsored by his own party as merely an opportunity for
extended sound bites.
He much prefers town hall meetings where he is in charge and he
takess questions from the audience and not fromt any smarty pants
political correspondents who might ask him something he does not want
to answer.
Asked to comment on anyone of his four opponents and their positions
on this issue or that and
Snyder usually declines the offer with something like, "I'm here to
talk about my ideas and not attack my opponent."
Turns out Mr. S. is not the only one playing this game.
GOP governor candidate Mike Bouchard was asked to comment on the
charge that Snyder sent jobs to China. He was also asked about the
perceived problems fellow candidate Mike Cox has with the so-called
Kwame problem.
Bouchard joined Snyder on the sidelines.
"I'm not going to be drawn into a debate over other candidates," he
demurred on a recent edition of Off the Record. And then came his
reason why: "People are tired of sniping at other candidates."
He does touch a nerve and Snyder feels the nerve, too.
Voters say they don't like shout fests where the discourse gets out
of hand, but these candidates can talk about the other guy without
going there.
Drawing a contrast with your opponents is not a sin if done in a
respectful manner.
Mr. Snyder and Mr. Bouchard should try it…the voters might actually
like it.


Anonymous pollcat said...

'compare and contrast' is easier said than done. Especially when (a)you're trying to do so for the benefit a reporter who is eager for a tasty soundbite. (b) you don't want to annoy over sensitive voters within your own party thereby jeopardizing support in other races if you lose this one. (c) you don't want alienate the person looking at you as a potential running mate.

May 5, 2010 at 1:14 PM 
Blogger Angela said...

I saw that segment, and I thought that Bouchard handled it correctly.

May 12, 2010 at 12:18 PM 

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