Stu Spencer—The Way We Were; The Way We Should Be

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist


Recently, a bevy of political “pros” gathered in Palm Desert to celebrate the 90th birthday of Stu Spencer, the pioneering political consultant who guided Ronald Reagan into the Governorship of California in the 1960s and then into the Presidency in 1980.  The event was a reminder of how things have changed in the political game—and not […]

Read more

The Tortoise and the (Blond) Hair

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist


Donald Trump could learn a thing or two about governing from California Governor Jerry Brown.  While President Trump tweets and bleats, Governor Brown uses the bully pulpit sparingly, but with considerable effect. California’s chief executive has long harbored presidential ambitions—he ran unsuccessfully 3  times (in 1976, 1980 and 1992)—but now realizes the White House is undoubtedly […]

Read more

Politics in Perspective

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist


Two weeks in London in December provided a chance to gain a fresh perspective on the United States’ crazy politics of 2016.  The bottom line is that the U.S. isn’t alone.   New economic and cultural realities worldwide have sewn a sense of resentment and displacement among traditional working class constituencies in England and the rest […]

Read more

California Is An Alternate Universe

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist


The Union has just seceded from California. While the rest of the country was electing Donald Trump and returning Republican Congressional majorities, California turned an even deeper shade of blue. The Golden State delivered a drubbing to The Donald. Hillary Clinton piled up a 2.5 million vote margin over Trump, swamping him 62% to 33%. […]

Read more

Unconventional Wisdom: Election Pre-mortem

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist


It certainly seems appropriate that disgraced former Congressmember Anthony Weiner is surfacing in the middle of the latest Presidential campaign kerfuffle. After all, the dominant themes of this fracas have been sex and emails.  Will this latest soap opera episode qualify as an October surprise that will completely upend the race?  Probably not, although it […]

Read more

Post-debate Wisdom: 90 Minutes to Nowhere

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist


Our long national debate-mare is over! But not before GOP nominee Donald Trump succumbed to his strongest opponent—himself. After a strong start, Trump abandoned what one Tweeter called the “Kellyanne Conway Trump” for the “Steve Bannon [Breitbart] Trump.” Or, actually, from the auto-animatron Donald Trump to @realDonaldTrump! Trump not only refused to repudiate Russia’s Vladimir […]

Read more

Post Un-Presidential Debate Wisdom

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist


There’s an ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” And we do. This is an election season as brutal, polarized, nasty (and vulgar) as any we’ve ever seen. The second presidential debate is a case in point. Donald Trump, reeling from the October Surprise video, pretty much managed to change the subject. Where […]

Read more

Post-Veep Debate Wisdom (Not Much)

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist


There was no knockout in the Vice Presidential debate. It didn’t move the electoral needle much—if at all. GOP nominee Governor Mike Pence scored the most points on style, but Senator Tim Kaine probably edged him on substance points. However, from the start, this campaign has been more about style than substance. Governor Pence’s performance […]

Read more

Post-debate Wisdom 1.0

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist


Hillary passed the Presidential plausibility test. Donald Trump didn’t—but there are still two more debates. Note to Donald: Review Ronald Reagan’s performance in the 1984 first debate (he sleepwalked) and second (Reagan’s terrific comeback, pledging not to make his opponent’s “youth and inexperience” an issue). Reagan and Barack Obama both had poor first debate performances, […]

Read more

Some Early End-Game Wisdom

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist


The stakes for the first Presidential debate on September 26 couldn’t be higher. On paper, it looks like advantage Clinton on the basis of her mastery of the issues and debate experience. The Clinton operation has got to be breathing a little easier now that Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson has been officially barred from the […]

Read more