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Quote Author Cited
The Doppler Effect: When running in a primary, candidate appears farther to the left or right than he or she in fact is, but as candidate nears the general election, candidate's views appear to approach the center. Alexandra Petri
We can go to the American people on this issue of winning the war [against terrorism]. We can go to the country on this issue because they trust the Republican Party to do a better job of protecting and strengthening America's military might and thereby protecting America. Karl Rove
If the White House is politicizing the war, that's nothing short of despicable. For Karl Rove to politicize the issue is an affront to the integrity of the entire United States military. Terry McAuliffe
…in every locality we should look beyond our noses; and at least say nothing on points where it is probable we shall disagree. Abraham Lincoln
The public relations phases of this campaign call for the same careful planning and strategy as you and your staff employed in setting up the invasion of Normandy, and the same careful planning that we, in our business, employ in order to insure the successful introduction to the public of a new product or service. Sigurd Stanton Larmon
We recommend a planned public relations and publicity campaign to position the Republican party as the defender of individual liberties against the encroachment of socialism, paternalism, and government control. Young and Rubicam
All Coolidge had to do in 1924 was to keep his mean trap shut, to be elected. All Harding had to do in 1920 was repeat “Avoid foreign entanglements.” All Hoover had to do in 1928 was to endorse Coolidge. All Roosevelt had to do in 1932 was to point to Hoover. Robert E. Sherwood
We’re not going to get the Negro vote as a bloc in 1964 or 1966 so we ought to go hunting where the ducks are. Barry Goldwater
General Mum Anonymous
We'll get out the [black] vote, but we need the white vote to win. Richard Arrington Jr.
Candidates who went into an election with negatives higher than 30 or 40 points just inevitably lost.... Drive up the opposition's negatives. Lee Atwater
We can't continue to always base our strategy on the fact that the other guy is going to mess up all the time. Lee Atwater
You don't let the other side define the campaign. Michael Barone
Let him say not one single word about his principles, or his creed—let him say nothing—promise nothing. Let no Committee or Convention—no town meeting ever extract from him a single word, about what he thinks now, or what he will do hereafter. Let the use of pen and ink be wholly forbidden as if he were a mad poet in Bedlam. Nicholas Biddle
You win elections with coalitions. You don't win elections by ideologically cleansing your party. Tony Blankley
The trouble [with modern political campaigns] is that the technicians of the media and the professional campaign advisors believe that the negative commercials and the attack work better. Edmund G. Brown Jr.
[Thomas] Dewey's view was that if he made no mistakes he would win So we sat around making sure he would make no mistakes. And I think we succeeded, but in fact that isn't the way it went. [Dewey lost] McGeorge Bundy
In the poultry business, you sit on an egg and it hatches. In the political business, you sit on a lead and it rots. James Carville
It sounds good to say you're going to campaign everywhere, but ultimately you have to make choices. Linda Divall
In every election in American history both parties have their cliches. The party that has the cliches that ring true wins. And if the cliches continue to ring true when the party governs, then that party and those cliches can change history. Newt Gingrich
It works. People respond to it. Robert K. Gardner
You're not trying to win 100 percent of the vote. You're after 50 percent plus one. It doesn't matter if you tick off the other 49 percent. Mary Matalin
Truth is a habit of integrity—not a strategy of politics. George McGovern
Don’t act on the defensive at all. Don’t refer to your past speeches or positions … hold Douglas up as a traitor and conspirator—a pro-slavery bamboozling demagogue. Joseph Medill
[Jimmy Carter's] campaign strategy was to remain unclear on all the issues. Walter F. Mondale
Choose to get ahead—not get even. Jesse Jackson
When you can’t sell the man, sell the plan. Anonymous
A [Presidential] candidate, confident of winning or sure of losing a bare majority of a state’s popular vote has no reason to expend resources there. Adam Liptak
When the economy is bad, the party in power is blamed. When the economy is good, people look at other issues. Jack Germond
The tactics and strategy of every Presidential election campaign is most influenced by the previous Presidential election. Stan Salett
We have lost the elections; and it is natural that each of us will believe, and say, it has been because his peculiar views was not made sufficiently prominent. Abraham Lincoln
I don't think its particularly smart [in a campaign] to spend your time responding to the other candidate. James Baker
You can’t blame your opponents for applying a strategy that beats your brains out with regularity Bill Clinton
If you asked me, ‘Where’s the scientific evidence of what’s adding value to a campaign?,’ I’d say field organizing. But the campaign consultants who are most famous are the strategists, especially the ones who focus on TV. And that’s where the evidence of the effectiveness of anything that people do in campaigns is the most limited. Brendan Nyhan
Pollsters get paid by the poll, ad makers by the ad, phone-calling firms by the call, direct-mailers by the piece. They all have an incentive to promote their services, whether or not doing so helps the campaign win—and they face few consequences if it doesn’t. Molly Ball