A political campaign is tricky. You have to get your message out and keep control of the situation, but at the same time you have to let it go and roll with the punches. It’s a lot like any other advertising campaign in a mixed old/new media world, but with a strong deadline and high stakes that fire passions. More importantly, the conduct of that campaign itself is often more important than the candidate because, like new media, you’re not just selling a product but a relationship.
The Governor’s race in Minnesota is crackling with a very good example of what not to do right now. The Emmer campaign is so consistently far over the top in their efforts to control their message that they are clearly doing great harm to their candidate – and calling into question their philosophy, policy, and identity.