Preempting Problems with Reporters: Case Study-The Family Drug Problem

Preempting Problems with Reporters: Case Study-The Family Drug Problem

This week. Some Case Studies in how embarrassing problems from a candidate’s past were preempted in pre-announcement meetings with reporters.

Today: How one candidate handled a family drug problem.

In one of the early meetings I had with a new client, he told me that one of the reasons he was running for public office was because he wanted to crack down on drug abuse, impose harsh sentences on those who sold illegal drugs and force drug abusers, including first time offenders, into a very strict rehabilitation program that included boot camps and physical labor.

I also learned that this candidate for public office had a son who had been in and out of drug rehab most of his teenage years. Rather than keep the press in the dark about his son’s drug problem, I had him explain it up front and tell the reporters that his son was the reason for his tough position on drug dealers and drug abuse. As he said, “I don’t want any parent to have to endure what I have. And having been through it, I now believe the only way to fix it is to get tough on both the dealers and the buyers.” The press thereafter used his spin in every story they wrote and they never treated his son’s problem as some new revelation or new news, nor did the press ever regard the candidate’s position as hypocritical. He easily won the primary in a four way race. Because of his son’s problem, voters were actually more inclined to believe that the candidate meant what he said and was serious about reducing teenage drug abuse.


How a candidate for Judge overcome a fatal drunk driving accident and won an election.

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