Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bush, is now columnist for Newsweek. This week, he offers some tips on what he calls “the Dem’s knife fight”:
Conventions are elaborate made-for-TV productions. We live in a culture of the visual. Every moment and every event should be scripted. The media will complain about it, but think through what messages you want and when you want them. This script must be visually powerful and interesting enough to keep the cameras on your candidate and not somewhere else. Make the spectacle personal. The Al and Tipper Gore kiss, for instance, did him a lot of good. And be sure to provide fresh content all the time. In the era of cable TV, talk radio, the blogosphere and YouTube, someone is watching and talking all the time. If you’re not pressing content into all available channels, someone else will.
This is a confirmation of one of the core beliefs of the The UnConvention: the scripted nature of the conventions is meant to guide people into a particular narrative. At this point it seems likely the Republican Convention will be the rehearsed, scripted event, since the Republican Nominee is already known to be John McCain. (The Democratic Convention on the other hand, is anyone’s guess.)
The second point is that Rove points out that if the scripted convention doesn’t fill all the voids of media coverage, someone else will. And, of course, The UnConvention is hoping for a few voids that we will fill in a much more constructive way than a scripted convention could.