My good friend Brian Edwards is not impressed with David Cunliffe and his latest performances.
To be absolutely fair to David Â Cunliffe, I should perhaps add that, like all senior politicians, he has on his team people whose job it is to advise him on media issues, to analyse and comment on his radio and television appearances and to prepare him for upcoming interviews and debates, possibly by workshopping those exchanges. Their job is not to ra-ra their employerâs efforts but to be brutally frank in critically analysing his performance.
The blame for Cunliffeâs misguided and vote-losing approach to his exchanges with the Prime Minister during the last election and particularly his final televised debate with John Key on TV One, must be proportionally shared with those advisers.
I feel sorry for the advisors, because I suspect that David Cunliffe doesn’t take coaching at all well, and when he consults his mirror he gets conflicting advice.
The best television interviews look like chats. The tone is relaxed, the language informal, the posture forward, demonstrating interest and keenness. In last nightâs interview with Campbell, Cunliffeâs tone is defensive and overbearing, his language formal and high-flown, his posture rigidly erect. His replies are repetitive and little more than a series of mini-speeches. He is talking at rather than to Campbell and the interviewerâs impatience and frustration become increasingly evident during the discussion. At one point Campbell accuses the former Labour Leader of being disingenuous. Â Read more »