Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

October 4, 2014 11:52 AM

This and That

For many, many years I have admired Bob Shrum’s ability to write the words used to deliver political messages in all formats, but particularly in speeches. (This is not to undervalue his overall strategic political acumen, which is very high.)

Recently, Bob was installed as the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at USC. During his installation he spoke, and I was particularly taken by a passage from that speech, parts of which I have included below.

“The practice of politics passes through constant revolution. The train brought us the whistle stop. Radio brought immediacy to conventions and campaigns. Then for nearly half a century of TV advertising, the most important political rallies have been two or three people around a television set. That may still be true, but it is one way communication – and now social media are changing that. They are changing the way we organize, talk with, and target the electorate....In the end, social media may prove to be direct mail on steroids.

So while the techniques move on, I believe the decisive role of message endures. ...”

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