Message to the Media: Electing a President Is Not Boxing

rubioThe debate post-mortem media analyses are filled with columns on who won and who lost. But rather than see the debate as an opportunity to get a measure of the candidate’s judgment, temperament, and approach to complex issues, we read instead about who “savaged” whom, which candidate “rattled” the other, who threw the most “punches” and who got the best “hit” on the other guy.

Continue reading Message to the Media: Electing a President Is Not Boxing

Sanders and Trump: How the Political and Media Establishment Got 2016 So Wrong

Perhaps the biggest story coming out of campaign 2016 is not the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, but the fact that the media and political establishment never saw it coming. And the fact that they never saw it coming perfectly explains the rise of Sanders and Trump. Continue reading Sanders and Trump: How the Political and Media Establishment Got 2016 So Wrong

Help! I’ve been Framed!

David Axelrod A key skill taught to mediators and negotiators is how to ‘reframe’ issues. This means moving the conversation to a higher level of generalisation. A form of bold simplification that (as the jargon has it) takes all concerned from their obvious Positions to less obvious Interests and Needs. And thereby creates space for strategic compromises.

Thus a haggle over compensation payments: “I think I’m hearing from you that you can be flexible on phasing these payments, but you really need certainty on the total?” The reframing question opens the idea of trading Money against Time.

Framing is all around us these days in politics. Organisation activist Saul Alinsky featured it prominently in his Rules for Radicals: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Continue reading Help! I’ve been Framed!