Political quote of the day

What a cracker of a quote:

In politics attack is the best form of attack. James Carville, who got Bill Clinton elected, said it best: ”If your fist is down your opponent’s throat he can’t say bad things about you.”

The comment was made by John McTernan in an article lamenting Labor’s problem in the Australian election. He makes a good point that applies as much to New Zealand Labour as it does to the ALP. 

Parties of the centre-left can only win with a compelling vision based on future and fairness. The absence of a Coalition vision should make this contest so much easier. The best policy has edge, crunch and lift. It cuts through to the public, it is specific and it inspires.

Then he talks about my favourite topic, negative campaigning.

Which brings us to the final strand of an effective election strategy – negative campaigning.

In politics attack is the best form of attack. James Carville, who got Bill Clinton elected, said it best: ”If your fist is down your opponent’s throat he can’t say bad things about you.”

All voters always say they hate negative ads. Who wouldn’t? What they are really saying is that they are not shallow or venal enough to be moved by malice, money or misrepresentation. But their votes say something different. The right attacks – the ones that resonate – move votes.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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