Cain’s drip, drip, drip

It’s hard to believe, but it appears that Herman Cain and his campaign appear not to have learned the first and most basic rule of crisis communication:

When a scandal-type story breaks, be honest and get the whole story out as fast as possible.

A drip, drip, drip approach means the story has time to grow, capturing more media attention, informing more people, spinning out more speculating, allowing for more time and occasions for details to be told inconsistently and then parsed, and for the emphasis to include discussions of dishonesty and character.

While the Cain campaign is fundraising on this, claiming that liberals are behind the story (when the most likely source was the campaign of one of his rivals), the most that approach can deliver is a short term political boost.

Besides the plain fact that it’s simply right to be honest and direct, doing so is smarter politics.

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Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.