My colleague Nathan Gonzales has a must-read out today for any Capitol Hill or campaign flack looking to set up interviews for their boss/candidate: How to Ruin Your Interview With Stu Rothenberg. Gonzales writes:
Over the course of the past 25 years, Stu has garnered somewhat of a reputation of being a “hard” interview. And some party strategists and consultants probably have more colorful adjectives than that. Those are also probably the same folks who prepare their candidates for the alleged onslaught they will face when stepping into The Rothenberg Political Report offices. But I’ll be honest with you, Stu is more bark than bite, and if candidates come in and act and talk like normal human beings, the vast majority come out on the other side unscathed. But there are a few ways that a candidate can virtually guarantee a less than ideal outcome. Hill Navigator agrees on all of Gonzales' points, but wants to add one more à la Barry Sanders: Act like you've been there before . Because to Stu, you (and your story) probably have. Stu has been in this business long enough to see it all: your fundraising numbers, your campaign team, your home-state newspaper endorsements -- it's not news to him. And he's impervious to spin, so what can you do?
Play the role of the experienced candidate. The one who hired a credible, experienced campaign team and understands the nuances of poll numbers. It may be less interesting or gossip-worthy, but those are the candidates more likely to reap the rewards come Election Day.
And while you're at it, take a few of Nathan's lessons to heart. Particularly the one about the student council nostalgia.