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, University of Southern California, 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, University of Southern California, 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, University of Southern California, 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, University of Southern California, 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, University of Southern California, 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

Post Conventional Wisdom: The Dog Days of August?

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

While Hillary Clinton got a pronounced bounce from the Democratic convention, Donald Trump’s bounce from the GOP gathering is looking more like a splat.  While Trump pulled about even in the polls with Hillary Clinton in the weekend between conventions, she pulled ahead after the Democratic convention and has stayed there.  The GOP convention was […]

Read more

Unconventional Wisdom Philadelphia

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

* The Democratic convention offered quite a valedictory for both President Obama and Vice-president Biden. Their boffo speeches left a high bar Hillary to clear. Did she? She is not an orator in a league with Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, but she was comfortable in the spotlight and got her points across. She can’t […]

Read more

Unconventional Wisdom after Cleveland

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

*   While the Republicans have been doing their best to paint the darkest possible picture of Hillary Clinton, the back-to-back party conventions give the Democrats an edge, as they can have the last word—if anybody is still listening. Counterpunching can be an extremely effective political tactic. *   The red-meat prosecutors Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie […]

Read more

The Hard Road Of “The Unnatural”

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

On paper, Hillary Clinton would seem to be, and probably is, the odds on favorite to be the next president. Why then is she having so much trouble putting Bernie Sanders away and raising eyebrows about her ability to beat Donald Trump in November?   It boils down to the fact that she isn’t a very […]

Read more

CA Primary Still Important for Down Ballot Contenders

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

As they say about opera, “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.” Well, in the 2016 Presidential nomination races, it isn’t going to be officially over until California votes. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump appear to have a virtual lock on their party’s nominations, but neither is able to muster a convention-delegate majority […]

Read more