Even as Bill Clinton settled into a large lead over President George Bush after his nominating convention, the core team in Little Rock kept gaming out how we could still lose. Pretending I was Bob Teeter, Bush’s pollster, I conducted a national survey in order to design the best campaign possible against Bill Clinton; our media team made simulated ads and we used the survey to test our response. The resulting ‘Teeter Memo’ proposed that Bush lead off with an attack ad, ‘Bill Clinton, failed governor of a small state’, and close the campaign on ‘trust’. But instead, the real Bush campaign, doubtful that the country would elect a ‘draft dodger’ as President, stayed on the Vietnam War draft even though the voters were done with it. That misreading would lead voters to lock in for Clinton.
KeywordsFocus Group Democratic Party Progressive Politics Labour Government Labour Party
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- 1.Philip Gould, The Unfinished Revolution: How New Labour Changed British Politics For Ever, 2nd edn (Little, Brown, 2011), p. 158.Google Scholar
- 2.Philip Gould, The Unfinished Revolution: How the Modernisers Saved the Labour Party (Little, Brown, 1998), pp. 162–170.Google Scholar
- 5.See my account in Stanley B. Greenberg, Dispatches from the War Room: In the Trenches with Five Extraordinary Leaders (St. Martin’s Press, 2009), pp. 181–182.Google Scholar