PReparing for PRessure

      47 Comments on PReparing for PRessure

Kennedy-Nixon debate, 1960

I don’t envy Mitt Romney. Missteps during the last couple weeks have put him in a pressure-filled position: he’s got to be outstanding in the first presidential debate on October 3. The political pundits believe that Romney must significantly outperform President Obama if he is to regain his footing and make up for lost percentage points in the polls.

I don’t envy Barack Obama.  By all rights, he should lose this election because presidents who don’t turn a struggling economy around (as if they truly have the power to do so) almost always get kicked out of office.  Obama must significantly outperform his opponent if he wants to hold on to the slight gains he has made in the polls.

At Hofstra, site of the October 16 debate, my one-credit course this semester, “PR and the Presidency,” examines how candidates and presidents have used public relations techniques to gain support or help with damage control.  So far we’ve watched Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” speech, a bold and early use of television that saved his 1952 candidacy for vice president; we’ve also viewed highlights of the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960.  In that famous case study, Kennedy’s smart coolness made for a striking contrast to Nixon’s pallid and sometimes shifty appearance.  Kennedy was well-rehearsed, well-dressed and well-prepared for what the debates meant to his candidacy.

In the past half century, we’ve seen presidential campaigns turn sour on a single slip of the tongue or soar on a well-turned phrase during debates. President Gerald Ford watched his candidacy against Jimmy Carter tank after he mistakenly said, “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe,” an ignorant statement he surely didn’t mean.  Just four years later, President Carter looked helpless as candidate Ronald Reagan ended the debate by asking America, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

The 2012 candidates have much to fear–and much to prepare for.  The pressure sure is on.  And for us, this is going to be really fun to watch.  Your thoughts?

47 thoughts on “PReparing for PRessure

  1. publicrelationspro

    Regarding the debate, there are clearly two distinct situations that each candidate face in winning the election. Mitt Romney plans on using the private sector to boost the economy and President Barack Obama plans on taking a more governmental approach in which he raises taxes on the rich. Certain things need to be addressed here, like how high tax rates used to be and how the Bush era implemented tax cuts for the rich, earning them one of, if not, the highest percentage in history. It is definitely important to take a look at how each of them will go about digging themselves out of the holes they’re in. Obama needs to prove he can and will make more progress than he did in his previous term, where Romney needs to gain the confidence of the people that he will do a better job than Obama.

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  2. Taylor Albright

    Having to speak in front of the entire nation is hard enough, let alone having to speak and make sure you say everything right. So many people will take things way out of context when listening to each candidate express their thoughts. As an audience it is fun (like you said) to watch because we get to nit-pick every little detail about the debate. People try to find meaning in simple things like the way a candidate sits, or the faces he makes, when in reality people are probably reading too far into things.

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  3. Kerry Kiddoo

    Always being under the public eye is a daunting though. Each candidate has a lot to live up to and prepare for, and as you mentioned each must be flawless in the debates to make up for voters who focus on social blunders and are undecided. I think the ideal candidate for the United States would represent a little of each side, for my taste a social liberal and a governmental republican. But I feel this election still has many wondering who they are going to vote for, and the election is only a week away.

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  4. Amanda Brennan

    I was up in the air with the candidates for a while but the problem with politics (as there always are) is that I agree with some things that Mitt says, and I agree with some things Obama says…realistically the ideal candidate would have a nice mixture of both and well, there are candidates that have that ability but they are third party and get nowhere near the recognition they deserve. I’m pretty scared for the future. I know who I’m voting for, but it’s still an uneasy feeling

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  5. Sherrell B.

    After watching that debate, all I can say is I can’t wait for the upcoming debates. I did not find it surprising that media will find ways to be bias… My friends and I talked about the differences among some of the networks and how it alter audiences focus.

    Overall, I felt that the first debate didnt answer some of my burning questions. I felt that most of the content was based on today’s matters. To be honest I rather the future of myself and my children children be secured versus the now…

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  6. Kristen Kelly

    In my opinion, both candidates still need to prove themselves. The polls have been flip flopping in the past few weeks, Real Clear Politics average shows Romney only leading by .08. I have been covering Iowa polls for one of my PR classes. Being a swing state, Iowa’s votes are crucial for both candidates. Within the past few polls, it has been going back and fourth between Romney and Obama. If one of the candidates says or does one little thing which could change the mind of the voters, the polls change. It may not be drastically, but it changes. Everything they do in the up coming weeks will determine the outcome. President Obama hasn’t done much to change the country for the better during his term, which gives Romney a good chance, but he needs to watch what he says and how he says things. For me, he did a great job in the first debate and the next two debates still remain extremely important for him to prove himself to the american people.

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  7. cmadse1

    I didn’t read this post until after the first presidential debate which gave me a different perspective than other commenters. The media is saying Romney “won” the first debate, I personally disagree. Romney did have to do a fantastic job in order to have any chance in this election, and apparently many Americans thing he really stepped up his game and did what he needed to. Personally, I thought Romney came off as rude, arrogant, and way too defensive.

    Like you said in class, one debate doesn’t mean anything, there is still a chance of the election going either way. I’m excited to see how the rest of this election plays out.

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  8. Lauren Someck

    What I’ve been enjoying the most this presidential campaign is focusing on the PR aspect. In a few of my classes we have been discussing the different good and bad PR from both candidates. It is clear that Romney hasn’t looked so great in the public these past few weeks. I find it shocking that someone who is running for president is not more cautious of their surroundings. Both candidates have a lot to work on and Im finding my self not sure of who serves as a better candidate for this election. Some could say that Obama’s one term of presidency would not be enough due to the difficult time he came into office.

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  9. alexcoughlan

    I think that both candidates have a lot to work on, this is the first presidential election I can vote in and my vote is still questionable. I agree with you that Obama not completely turning the economy around in his term does not look good for him and I find myself going back and force between the lesser of two evils. Both candidates and their PR teams need to be ready for a rocky debate season.

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  10. Nicole Chiarella

    Both candidates are by no means experts in the Public Relations field but if I was running for President I would need to know my team knows everything and anything inside and out. It is the most critical time during the race and it would only be smart on behalf of both of the candidates teams to make sure there can be no issues that could damage the images. The two candidates cannot just rely on their PR teams to be their everything. At the end of the day the candidates are the ones we are supposed to trust not their PR team. The PR team definitely shapes their reputations and as we can see their not doing a good job at that. It will be interesting to see what will happen at the debate on October 16.

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  11. Jessica Wyatt

    I agree that neither candidate is in a position to be envied. They’re under a microscope and voters and critics will always find something wrong which each candidate. The key is to be the candidate where more people see something right. Over the summer with the orientation program, the staff and students read a book called “Tension City.” It describes many of the situations mentioned in your post and goes through every debate from 1960 until 2008. It’s a great book and really emphasizes how one word or action can mean so much to voters. Elections are extremely PR-driven and took me until my time at Hofstra to really realize how much PR prep goes into winning an election.

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  12. Corey Wagner

    I think it has been a rocky campaign for both candidates, but the PR for Romney’s campaign has been terrible. Nothing has been put out into the media that has made me, or really anyone fall in love with Romney. In my opinion the people who are leaning more towards Romney only are voting for him because they don’t know what to do about the economic state of America. I think Republicans only care about the economy and are forgetting about other important factors such as gay marriage. I believe and hope that Obama kicks ass in the first debate and reminds us all why we chose him over the well deserving and experienced Hillary Clinton and elected him over the crazy duo McCain and Palin.

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  13. Anand Patel

    There isn’t much at all to argue with the fact that the role of public relations in the campaign and debate probably one of the most important tools in the arsenal of the presidential candidate. The thing is that they think that other people are going to get caught but in reality, there is no chance in hell that your professor and one classes at something brown. I feel like Obama can make serious headway just by the sheer will and determine from the local and even legitimate news rooms for after the gym. Main reason we all look good when in public these days is to make an impression and hopefully see if that brings any good fortune that way.

    Unfortunately, a single quote, even taken out of context, could have the potential to absolutely ruin someone’s image and career– a terrifying thought. This is due to the immense amount of press we are getting here now at Hofstra because of the debates. I’m not expecting the actions to change, just the way it turns out…

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  14. Spencer MacDonald

    I do not consider President Obama or Governor Romney to be PR experts especially the latter. As mentioned by most everyone in this thread, Romney’s “47%” gaffe will be especially damaging as the Obama campaign moves forward.

    However, I disagree with the economy point you made in the article. Under the Obama administration there has been continual job growth and while it is not at the most favorable level, we should not forget the state of the economy he was handed at the end of the Bush administration.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WbQe-wVK9E

    Sorry for the blatant Obama support.

    As we move toward the election, the Democrats will aim to recreate the massive support and kind of fever they had for Obama in 2008 and I think they will be moderately successful in that. Romney can hope, at best, to at least try to get his whole party to support him.

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  15. Joanna Soares

    Romney’s recent “47%” statement has done major damage to his image. He didn’t solely offend all of the people who were pro Obama, unsure, or indifferent, but he also lost a lot of adamant supports of both his party and himself. His ideas and thoughts represent his party and to many young and first time voters, this idea of Romney and Republicans being “disconnected and unaware” of the common man’s struggle can turn them away permanently. It will take an amazing PR team to turn this around for him. Although, I feel that much of Obama’s PR strategies have attracted the younger demographic, and while they may verbalize support for Obama, it shows in numbers that too many don’t take the active step to vote.

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  16. Kristin Mancuso

    I have no doubt in my mind that the forthcoming debates will be fun and informative to watch. I agree that it is crucial for Romney to rebound during the debates due to his recent wrongdoings. However, President Obama also has a lot of persuading to do if he would like secure a second term in office. Although I’m not the most politically person, I personally find it difficult to support either candidate in the election. Most of us can agree that Romney has dug himself into a deep hole with his controversial and dim-witted comments. Unfortunately this has foreshadowed his reputable political past as the former governor of Massachusetts. Obama on the other hand is extremely good at executing his ideas and beliefs; however, he has failed to live up to the expectations he stated himself just four years ago. This leaves me to ponder over the question “am I really better off than I was four years ago?” Unfortunately the answer is no for my family and I. If re-elected into office, I expect Obama save the economy and halt the financial crisis as he previously stated he would. In conclusion, the debates have the potential to be the ultimate deciding factor in the presidential election. Therefore it is crucial for the candidates and their PR teams be well-prepared and confident in their beliefs in following weeks before the election.

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  17. Stephen Steglik

    This election has been very interesting and truly has been between two candidates who haven’t energized their respective parties and core supporters enough. For Mitt Romney he has to come across intelligent, strong and break free from the caricature that has been made of him already. For President Obama he needs to relentlessly push his vision of America and remind the nation why they fell in love with him in 2008. Both men need to watch Kennedy/Nixon to learn how to portray themselves as fresh and Presidential while making their opponent stumble and fall into the image pot holes that come with a “live” debate. -Stephen Steglik

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  18. Caitlyn Hutchison

    There is a lot of pressure on both Obama and Romney during the upcoming presidential debates. Right there, on that debate stage, a candidate can win or lose the election. Those moments of televised “raw candidate”, or as raw as you can get today during these elections, is critical for the public to decide whom they are going to be voting for in November. Both candidates have to prove themselves to the public and the media that they can thrive as president and make the necessary changes to keep America going in the right direction. This is the perfect opportunity for both candidates to show off what is best about their proposed administration and win over the audience. What blunders and mistakes made are also as important as what promises the candidate makes. These debates will hold the majority of America captive as the highly anticipated debates, for their foreseen entertainment factor, take place for the 2012 elections.

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  19. Kyle Noone

    I don’t know if I would say that the debates would be “fun” to watch, but they definately should be very interesting. As you said, both candidates are suffering from a tremendous amount of pressure, Obama due to his failure to significantly change our outlook and Romney for comments he was seen making. For me personally, these debates are going to be the big deciding factor on who I vote for. One of the candidates will have to significantly out do the other for me to choose them. I don’t want to support Obama, due to his failures to perform, but I definately do not think Romney would be a better solution. I think many people are in the same boat I’m in, adding to the extreme amount of pressure the candidates are feeling for these upcoming debates. They should both realize that they are really going to have to perform during these debates if they want the vote.

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  20. Kevin Alexander Tamerler

    The Yankees are currently in an epic struggle with the Orioles for the AL East division title, and have been all month. They’ve been within one game or tied since the start of September, so every single night the lead is on the line. However, while the lead has often slipped to a tie, the Yanks have battled hard, had an incredibly hot streak in which they have practically run the table and they’ve been rewarded with…a 1.5 game lead. Still not anything to write home about, right? Despite the fact that the lead is smaller than at the start of the month, the Yankees are in a better position simply because there’s only a week left in the season. Their “magic number” (combined Yankees wins and Orioles losses) to clinch the division is down to 6.

    Why am I spending a paragraph talking about Yankees baseball? I think that’s roughly the state of the Presidential election at the moment. Romney has been close, and he’s still close. The much ballyhooed PR gaffes are flesh wounds at worst, and this has always been an election that hinges as much on voter turnout and marginal-swing-constituency-within-swing-state issues. I don’t think Romney is getting blown out in November, that’s just not in the cards. But Obama has played his hand remarkably well, and every day he is ahead is one day closer to November. One less day for Romney to build momentum. Even in the United States of ADHD, Youtube, and the 24 hour news echo chamber; it still takes time to change the opinions of millions of voters scattered across the country and convince them to come out to the polls and vote for you. Romney has one more big spot, and that’s the debates. If he can’t move the trend lines after the first debate, he no longer controls his own destiny. His campaign would become dependent on an Obama collapse.

    With all this in mind, I hope that Romney and his team are working on something special. That one resounding shot that changes the momentum, sucks all the oxygen out of the room. A Hail Mary, a haymaker, throw in the kitchen sink, swing for the fences, take a halfcourt shot and let the chips fall where they may. Having now tortured sports metaphors like my last name was Cheney, I’ll see you in class.

    Kevin Tamerler

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  21. Kerri Sheehan

    You and many other people seem to be blaming Obama for not making significant enough strides as president, however what can you expect to happen in a matter of four years? Our country spent 8 years under Bush’s awful administration, not all of that can be undone in four years. Personally if the argument is that Obama hasn’t done anything in four years then I would argue that I would much rather have Obama be elected for another four years of “doing nothing” than have Mitt Romney do anything at all. I think Romney’s PR team is going to have to work really hard to make him seem less daft than he actually is. On the other hand Obama’s PR team doesn’t have to do much of anything other than sit back and watch Romney mess up again and again.

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  22. Holly Haynes

    My favorite part about studying both public relations and political science is that situations such as these can be looked at from two completely different angles. In a PR sense, I cannot wait to see what happens at the upcoming debates. While we can all guess what topics will be brought up and how each candidate may approach them, looking at it from a PR position is almost entertaining. It really only takes one little slip to spiral downwards. I’m anxious to see what each candidate says will do for their campaign.

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  23. Jenny Rowe

    In my opinion, I think Mitt Romney made a little more than a “misstep.” He has made big mistake after big mistake, not a quality I find to be presidential by any means. George W. Bush seemed to me like a puppet controlled by others telling him what to say and when to say it. I can easily compare this to Romney, although Romney’s mistakes along the way seem to be from him actually voicing his own opinion. I do not think his team has been slacking, in fact, I think they are probably working even harder than Obama’s team to make up for his constant mistakes. It is crucial for both Obama and Romney’s PR teams need to be prepared for what these debates may bring. This is going to be an extremely interesting election.

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  24. Christine Brazeau

    These debates will certainly be ones to tune in carefully to, and watch every move. As these candidates both prepare for the upcoming days, it’s important that they are extremely focused, and know how to swing their public. In regards to the Romney problems, he clearly was in the wrong with what he said, and the fact that it was captured and released to the press. That definitely hurt him in the polls. But when you look at Obama in comparison, many people just don’t want to give him another four years in the presidential position because of how little he seemingly has done for the economy. That’s a tough call, though, for the general public who don’t necessarily know enough about what’s been happening in the White House. It’s been extremely difficult for President Obama to get anything done because the republicans who are also in office are making it nearly impossible to pass anything he decides would work. However, Obama cannot use that when he’s appealing to the public because he would look weak. He must own up to everything that has happened in the last four years, and convince America that he can handle another four.

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  25. Rachel

    I think this debate will be “fun” to watch in that Romney will surely make blunder after critically eroneous blunder, and Obama will make laughable, last-ditch attempts to convince a nation unchanged that he is still their best hope for hope and change, if he only has a little more time to make the change. It is not “fun” however, as a voter, and a citizen of this country, to sit back and watch two candidates, who, yet again, are so focused on partisan politics, pandering to their demographics, and exaggerating their intentions and capablities to make a difference. It is not “fun” to consider that for another four years of my life, my nation will be run by a man who does not represent me or my interests or needs, who, in the long run, my individual vote will not help or hinder. Frankly i am sick of politics, our system, and the tired, trite candidates whom we always elect. Where are all the independents. Oh that’s right, because they don’t ally with a party, they don’t receive funding, don’t get recognition in the media, and don’t get far in the election process. I would LOVE to see the internet and social media (which cost nothing) play such a huge part in advertising for independent candidates, that the up and coming voters of this nation, the youth, will become informed, aware, and determined to make an impact, and swing the vote. Electing someone to office who will make an actual difference, rather than constantly throwing the country back and forth between the control of two conflicting parties who uproot their opponents and undo eachother’s work every few years, hampering any real progress.

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  26. Alecia Detka

    I could not agree more with how much fun this political election is going to be to watch. One thing that I love about being a public relations major is that I can put my opinions aside and simply look at the performance of each candidate in an objective and factual way. No matter my opinions on Romney, I have to agree that his latest mistakes are and should hurt his campaign. Furtherm

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    1. Alecia Detka

      Sorry! I accidentally sent my comment! Anyways I was saying that furthermore, no matter my opinion of Obama, I have to agree with what you stated in your post, that on all rights he should not win the election because he could not complete all that he promised in the four short years he has been president.

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  27. mshelorke

    I don’t think people understand the kind of effort that is needed to support the two candidates in this year’s election; and each of their own PR teams has a lot to do with helping their image. As Lauren had said earlier, I too was never that interested in politics up until this year. The media has absolutely played a huge role in this. Being well-spoken and prepared is essential to a winning campaign. The PR teams of both Obama and Romney should have prepared them with the correct way to respond to certain questions, what should be mentioned and should not be mentioned, how to compose themselves under the pressure of an interview and so on. In my opinion, Romney’s team has been slacking because he seems to constantly be making mistakes in his campaign that are contradicting and yet he has said nothing about these errors. The public notices and it is an issue that could cost him the election. PR professionals need to be aware of these types of problems and have a plan in place when things go wrong.

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  28. Ryan Derry

    I believe that what you say, especially if you are arguably the biggest public figure in the US (or in the running to be), is always a matter of caution. With social media and technology changing so much, almost everyone has a recording device on their phones. Mitt Romney messed up big time when he said what he said about the 47% of people, who if I remember correctly (I’m not too politically savvy), he essentially does not “care” about. First of all, how can someone like him slip up and say that to people who definitely will either tell (or in this case, record) what you say and let others know. In PR, and even in daily life, you must ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings and what you say. It is all about image after all. No matter how you might see it – your viewers, listeners, and followers always have the final say and judgment call. Unfortunately, it is now important to really, and rather cliche-ly, think before you speak.

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  29. Katlyn Catubig

    Unfortunately, many Americans are so set in their ways that I feel that the debates are almost just for show nowadays. By that, I mean that Democrats and Republicans are very unlikely to vote for the other parties’ candidate, no matter how impressed or unimpressed they were with either candidate on the debates.
    That being said, I believe that the debates are going to be crucial for each President’s image. In one of my other PR classes, we discussed the PR teams of both Romney and Obama. Some believe that Romney’s team is younger and slightly less experienced than Obama’s, simply because of some of Romney’s “mishaps” with the press. While Obama does tend to have a “cleaner” PR image at the moment, he is certainly not, as Jackie Zupo said, been a “PR angel”.

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  30. L Shulman

    Politicians are scrutinized on every little detail, including the things that shouldn’t matter, such as their appearance and their personal lives. It’s a shame because it takes attention away from their policies and beliefs. However, this just means that it is so important for Obama and Romney to move cautiously over the next two months, and to get a great night’s sleep October 15th.

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  31. brittanywalshh

    The debates are so extraordinarily important for both presidential candidates because this is where Americans will be able to compare each candidate, their policies and their strategies, side by side. Much of campaigning consists of each political party pointing out the flaws of the other, making it difficult to feel completely assured by either one. The debate will allow us to get a vivid picture of what each candidate truthfully stands for and why. In comparing, people can make a more informed decision.Whereas we’d like to believe voters will make an educated decision based on what they feel is more beneficial for our country, the truth is that many will watch the debate and vote for the one who seems more charming and personable and the one who “looks the part.” The public relations professionals put in charge must not only ensure flawless responses but they need to create an impeccable image as well.

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  32. Kellianne

    To be honest, I never had any interest in politics. In high school, I never really learned about politics. The most education I received on politics was during my “PIG” class which was required during senior year; PIG stood for “participation in government”. We had mock debates about political and social issues in our society which gave me somewhat of an insight into politics. Besides that, all I heard about politics was when my friends or family would discuss and debate about politics around the house.

    Being that I am registered to vote, I decided that I should become more aware of politics. I am also volunteering during the debate that Hofstra is hosting on October 16th. I now follow both Romney and Obama on twitter to get both sides of the story. I also try and read the newspapers when I can get ahold of them. I recently started watching the news in the morning when I am getting ready.

    I feel that the debate is crucial for both candidates. Millions of people will be watching the debates and it can be the deciding factor to those undecided voters. The way that both candidates present themselves and their sides is what is going to make people side with one way or the other. During my public relations 103 class, we are also discussing politics. Many people say that Romneys public relations team is very poor. Many things could have been avoided if Romney was directed by his public relations team in a more professional matter. Obama has an advantage because he has been through this before. His team is more equipped for this since its the second time around.

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  33. Lauren Ciuzio

    To be honest, I never really had any interest in politics. It stresses me out. However, this time around I seem to know more about the upcoming election than I have for past elections. I think the reason is because our media is changing. Today it seems like the Presidential campaign isn’t taken as seriously as it was in the past. Now it seems like the candidates are trying to gain a “fan base” rather than a political following.

    To comment on your blog post, I feel like Mitt Romney is constantly making a fool out of himself. If I do vote, I will not vote for him. From what i’ve heard, he does not care for the middle class, which is what my family and friends fall under. He also seems very arrogant, and not sincere about helping this country. I also know that he comes from a lot of money, which I feel is the main reason he made it this far in the election. He had made some pretty big mistakes recently, and his PR team really needs to get it together before the upcoming debates before he digs himself a deeper hole.

    As for Obama, yes he did not turn our economy around as promised, but I still think he makes a better President than Romney would. Obama seems sincere about all of the efforts he has attempted, some of them just haven’t worked out yet. Obama is also very good at public speaking, and caters to his crowds very well. He is a family man, and easy going which is why people still like him. Hopefully with another four years under his belt he will be able to turn this country around for the better.

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  34. Megan Hartwick

    Either way you spin it, both candidates need to perform flawlessly in the upcoming debates to convince this country of capabilities. Due to the current state of our country, and particularly our economy, I feel as if the pressure of this election is greater than it has been in the past two. Four years ago, we were in trouble looking for a solution, and because it was not a re-election, it became easier to see greater hope in a candidate. But because of the re-election, the way the last four years went, and where we currently stand, I feel like this time around voters are choosing who they dislike least. Maybe this isn’t very different elections in the past, and maybe I’m only seeing it now because for the first time I am eligible to vote, but it certainly seems that the upcoming debates will make it or break it for either candidate.

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  35. Lauren Means

    Obama has a good reputation as someone who is cool under pressure and says what he means. Some exemptions apply (such as his recent “I can’t change America” gaffe), but he has worked hard on his reputation. In contrast, Romney largely has a reputation as a flip-flopper and as someone whose foot is lodged almost permanently in his mouth. Reputations obviously carry weight, especially in such a high-profile event. People will naturally follow someone who looks well put together; who wears power well. A reputation takes a long time to cultivate, but it will serve a candidate well. However, it is important to remember that it only takes the work of a few minutes, or a few well-placed questions, to kill a reputation.

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  36. Leia Schultz

    While reading this blog post I can’t help but think of Robert Redford’s character, Bill McKay, in the movie “The Candidate” (a great film!). McKay, though initially unwilling to become the Democratic candidate to run against the incumbent Republican senator in California, concedes to enter the world of politics only after he is promised that he can run his campaign any way he pleases and express his own personal values – further, he is told that there is no possible way that he will win the election. Throughout the movie, McKay’s message changes from heartfelt and genuine into the generic, scripted responses of the classic politician; this transformation causes McKay to lose popularity with those who once lauded him for being the courageous non-conforming politician.

    In this real 2012 election cycle, I, too, do not envy President Obama or Governor Romney as they vie to be the leader of this nation. In recent weeks, evidence of Mitt Romney’s inconsistent stance on several major issues has surfaced (thanks, Daily Show). A la Bill McKay, it seems that Romney is becoming more and more a designed creature of the Republican far-right. I will be very interested in hearing what the candidates have to say when they come to Hofstra as well as in the coming days before the election.

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  37. Jeena Liriano

    I believe that Obama is trying to change the economy and create more jobs, also that he is sincere when he says that he needs more time. He has made changes to our health system that has benefited my family, as well as myself. I do have faith that he will win the 2012 election.

    As for Romney I feel as if the video that was released really will hurt Romney especially when it comes to hispanic votes. The hispanic vote was essential for Romney to gain, and his PR team did not do a good job in turning this crisis around. Many people are still turned off by Romney and him not caring about the 47%.

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  38. passportstories

    I agree with what everyone has been saying so far. I am also personally disappointed in both of the candidates. As a republican, I am really trying to support Romney, but it is extremely difficult when he keeps making huge mistakes on his campaign trail. I really think that people are making excuses for Obama because they are trying to accept the fact that they don’t really have a choice at this point. As of right now, Romney is not looking good in this race. People may be just accepting the fact that Obama will be re-elected and unfortunately there is nothing to do about it. It may be a way of them coping with the fear of the economy and just accepting the fact that no one can fix it. This is a really pessimistic view going into the election because not many people seem to be excited about either candidate regardless of them being republican or democrat. I stand divided between the two. The fate of many of our votes are going to be based on the outcome of the upcoming debates. I hope that they both have some tricks up their sleeves and they are ready to fight to win this election and make America proud.

    -Molly Sestak

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  39. Hillary Alexandre

    I for one, am not a Romney fan, as are many democrats. However, Obama’s failure to turn the economy around is disappointing as that was one of the biggest factors for his election in 2008. Romney may actually have a chance in office, although with some of his policies and careless remarks, it seems to me that he’ll only revert America in to what Bush had us in. I think that Obama needs another chance and a way to make Congress listen to him instead of shoot every proposal down.

    In terms of the candidates’ PR, Obama and his team clearly know how to handle media compared to Romney and his offensive statements. If it were up to just PR aspects, Obama will have this election without a doubt.

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  40. Maureen Moran

    With the wave of easy-to-use recording devices on every smart phone, having abilites that Max Smart could only wish for ten years ago, many people need to beware of what they say even behind the closed doors of Ivy Towers. Sometimes even PR can’t turn around someone’s own spoken words, but as this happens more and more it is to the public relations pro who is called upon to help minimze the damage or use it to create a winning platform.

    What I find disturbing about politics today is that politics is more about the brand than the character of the man, the package more than one’s actual beliefs and millions of dollars poured into ads that benefit no one. It will be interesting to see how both camps use public relations to their advantage or to their demise.

    I am looking forward to the debate at Hofstra on October 16 and hope that I claim a seat for this very important debate.

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  41. Nicole Risell

    I think this election will be about “settling” on a candidate because while Democrats don’t like Mitt Romney, they don’t believe Obama improved the economy during his presidency. Voters have to decide whether to give Obama another four years to prove himself, or give Romney a chance in office. I think the debates will be the deciding factor because at this point, Romney has to prove he’s a worthy opponent and Obama has to prove he is capable of turning the economy around in the coming years.

    In regards to PR strategies, it’s glaringly obvious that Mitt Romney lacks media training because no right-minded PR person would tell him it’s a good idea to speak out against half the country, so I think how he performs at the debates will either redeem him or put the final nail in his coffin.

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  42. Chloe Lambros

    I agree with the fact that this will definitely be an interesting election, considering that both “2012 candidates have much to fear–and much to prepare for”. I think that both candidates have had their fair-share of slip ups, and I agree that they both need to make strong and outstanding on October 3rd if they each want to gain back the respect of the voters.

    I don’t envy either candidate, as Mitt Romney has had quite a bit of “missteps,” and Barack Obama has not improved our struggling economy over his term. Honestly, I think both PR teams for each of the candidates are not the best teams going. Although, if I had to choose which PR team is “better”, I wold definitely have to go with Obama’s PR team. His image in the public seems more controlled than that of Romney’s.

    As much as both candidates have made their mistakes, and worse, not properly fixing them, I think they are both walking on a thin line in terms of public perception. With that said, they need to start kicking it up a notch and really try to gain the respect of the public back. For Romney, it needs to be made clear as to why he could do a better job than Obama, as Obama needs to fight and show why he should have be given a second chance at presidency. Ultimately, Obama may win, but if so, will he ACTUALLY turn the economy around? Actions speak louder than words, and right now, the words of the candidates speak louder than their actions.

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  43. Jenny Zheng

    I think most people would agree that Romney’s PR team is sub-par. They are inexperienced and this is probably their first election (given the silly mistakes that Romney has made). It doesn’t help that Romney has been bad mouthing almost half the country, so I really feel for his PR team because at this point, they are probably at a loss as to what to do to fix his image. Obama has had his share of mistakes too, and most people seem to only be shining the light on Romney’s mistakes these days. I don’t want to sound biased, because I’m really not for either candidate, but Obama has a good strategy, and he’s been through this before. Let’s be honest, he has a huge advantage over Romney just because he already won four years ago.

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  44. Julie Rafatpanah

    I agree that this will be a very interesting election. I’m personally very surprised at Romney, because I felt like he had an amazing opportunity; although I’m an Obama supporter, I felt that a Republican could have gotten a foothold and really taken advantage of of it. Mitt Romney and his PR team have made a lot of silly mistakes that have added up, from his “tan” for Spanish television, to his 47% comment, and more. I feel like these will all add up and cost him. If I were a Republican, I would be very upset at the wasted opportunity to get a Republican into the White House, when all the circumstances were in their favor.

    I feel like Obama will ultimately win the election, but it certainly won’t be anything close to what 2008 was. If Obama wins, a lot of it will be based off of luck; most of the American people are not familiar with what he HAS done in office, are impatient about improving the economy (not that I blame them), and he hasn’t had gaffes as damaging as Romney.

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  45. jackiezupo

    Personally I believe that Romney has a really bad PR team. By saying he doesn’t care about the 47% proves that his PR team has not trained and advised him well. He is in the public eye running for the President of The United States, he should always assume there’s a camera on him. Also, he should always be conscious of what he is saying in public. During his campaign he has consistently made PR mistakes. On the other hand, Obama has been no perfect PR angel but I believe that his PR team is a lot better because they’ve been through a campaign before.

    In regards to the other issue, Obama’s inability at fixing the country’s current economic state, I think a lot of people stand divided. I think the damage that has been done is so large people make excuses for Obama. People argue that it is not possible to fix this kind of damage in four years. Although this is major issue for Obama, these days he definitely has a better PR image in regards to what he says in public.

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