Local Politics

Campaigns shift gears now that conventions over

Posted August 2

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— I’ll bet, for those people working on the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump campaigns, we’re beginning a week of sheer terror.

I say that because both the Republican and Democratic conventions have ended. The two candidates have now benefited from whatever "convention bounce" was coming their way.

During the conventions, both campaigns had a lot of control over where the bulk of the cameras were pointing. Sure, there were #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary protestors both inside and outside of the conventions, but your view of those protestors on TV was overshadowed by the highly controlled events and speeches in the center ring of each arena.

But now the conventions have ended, and the center ring is gone. Those darn TV cameras could end up pointing anywhere, and a loud group of chanting protestors is exactly the kind of thing that’s perfect for grabbing a TV camera’s attention.

I didn’t understand just how determined and resilient these protestors are until I talked with a group of Bernie Sanders supporters on the last day of the Democratic National Convention on Market Street in downtown Philadelphia.

We know many of those who make up the #NeverTrump crowd, starting with Mitt Romney and George Will, and the list is filled with other Republican power brokers from Congress and the media.

The #NeverHillary crowd is different. It’s large. It’s grassroots. And it’s committed.

These two groups of protestors are very different; both represent a huge threat.

So, now that the conventions are over, keep your eye on the screen because both parties have lost a lot of their control over the narrative, meaning you are about to get a view of the world as it really is instead of how the parties want you to see it.

As voters, this is a crucial time for us to really learn about the candidates – how they operate under pressure, how they handle difficult situations, their ability to make smart decisions during unpredictable times and how savvy they are at building a solid team around them that enables them to focus and get the job at hand done.

Right now, the job at hand is campaigning, and we will learn a lot about how the candidates would run the country by watching how focused and organized and effective they are at running their campaigns.

Gregg Stebben is an editor at MEN’S HEALTH Magazine and the author of 17 books. His latest book is the third edition of WHITE HOUSE: CONFIDENTIAL. He lives in Raleigh.

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