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Campaign Management Program: Lessons from the West

  Oct 30, 2012

“During the US presidential campaign debate, why didn’t President Obama attack the main message of Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney when he stated that he created jobs when he was the CEO of a company?

That was the opening question Prof. Steven Jarding posed to his Harvard students during the campaign management course. “It all boils doing to campaign strategy, relevant issues, target voters and timing”, he stated. Aware that employment is key issue in the current US campaign, the students argued, that it would have been risky for President Obama to bring such a one on one confrontational issue in a final debate. The timing was not right.

History shows that some US presidential candidates have lost the race due to poor performance in the televised presidential debate. Most of the students in Prof Jarding’s class agreed that the last of the three presidential debates was the most unnatural as both President Obama and Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney were very cautions of any words and moves they made during the debate.

Subsequent to the debate, the Obama campaign machine has released a series of TV advertisements directly attacking Rommey’s claims on job creation by using veteran Americans to argue that Rommey actually destroyed jobs during his tenure as CEO instead of creating new jobs. The TV commercials ended with the tag line “If Rommey wins, the middle class loses”. The tag line is aligned to Obama’s campaign strategy which focuses on middle class votes. It also induces an aspect of fear in the electorate which is one way of driving majority of the middle class to vote. Prof. Jarding’s class covered different campaign messages that can generate fear leading people to vote for the intended candidate.

Prof Jarding will share similar insights during the upcoming Campaign Management Program to be held in Strathmore Business School.

About the Campaign Management Program

The growing complexity of electoral campaigns in recent years has made it necessary to manage them more professionally. Campaign development is now marked by analyzing the context and designing a strategy, two factors that have a decisive impact on election results and success.

Click here to read more.

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