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What’s Your Favorite Website? Here’s Mine.

On many mornings since 2003, I’ve started my day by visiting Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire. It’s a nonpartisan site that pulls together brief excerpts from all over the political world—everything from critical analyses and poll numbers to obscure state races and sublimely ridiculous absurdities.

I’m not alone in recognizing his work. If you look at the bottom of his site, you’ll see an impressive roster of his fans, which include Chuck Todd, Joe Scarborough, and Arianna Huffington.

In this post, you’ll also find a special offer for Mr. Media Training readers.


June 2015: The Worst Video Media Disaster

Joe Biden’s oldest son, Beau, died of brain cancer on May 30. It was the latest blow in a life of tragedies for the vice president, whose first wife and one-year-old daughter were killed in a car accident in 1972. 

In response to the news, politicians on the opposite side of the aisle suspended partisan attacks


15 Years Ago Today: A Wave I’ll Never Forget

On October 20, 1999, Elizabeth Dole—a former Reagan and Bush cabinet secretary—ended her bid for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination.

I was working at CNN in Washington, D.C. at the time. As I was leaving work late that night and crossing through the building’s quiet front lobby, I noticed Ms. Dole entering for her appearance on


If You Commit Gaffes, Do You Get A Pass To Commit More?

Nathan Gonzales, an old friend and colleague who serves as the Deputy Editor of the well-regarded Rothenberg Political Report, recently sent me an interesting theory: 

“Here is a working hypothesis for politicians: The more stupid things you say, the more leeway you are allowed. Basically, if you have a reputation for being a straight talker or


Hillary Clinton Needs A New Message, Stat!

Hillary Clinton has been talking about her wealth—or relative lack thereof—a lot lately, and her responses have done more to raise eyebrows and encourage additional follow up questions than to satisfy the questions and put a close to the issue.

The topic came up during an interview with Diane Sawyer earlier this month, and Secretary Clinton


The Smear Cycle: Hillary Clinton May Have Brain Damage

Karl Rove, the former top advisor to President Bush, launched a new smear campaign against Hillary Clinton late last week. Speaking at a conference, Rove brought up Clinton’s 2012 health scare, during which she spent several days in a hospital. From The New York Post:

“Thirty days in the hospital?” Rove said, according to Page Six.


Yes Or No, Congressman: Will You Give Up Your Paycheck?

Several years ago, I consulted with a major organization regarding a brewing crisis.

My contact—the head of communications—asked me to review the situation and give her my best communications advice. When she called the next day to ask what I had come up with, I uttered two lines that made her gasp: “You don’t have a


President Obama’s Latest Syria Surprise

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus.” – President Barack Obama, August 2012

With those comments—now known as Obama’s “Red

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