Have Evil Political Consultants Corrupted American Politics?
Over at Slate Magazine, Markos Moulitsas (founder of DailyKos.com) and GOP consultant Stuart Stevens recently engaged in an email debate over the role of political consultants. It's in the context of talking about Joe Klein's new book, Politics Lost.
As Markos puts it:
There's no doubt that consultants do their best to strip politicians of anything that might turn off some focus-group-tested demographic. Too often that means scrubbing candidates clean of their humanity and spontaneity, and all that's left is, well, what we see running around in politics today. ...
Stevens argues that if the consultants are bad, and the candidate follows their lead, it's the candidates fault:
The underlying theory is that a candidate has some natural gift, which is corrupted by an evil consultant like Shrum. But who are we kidding? The problem with candidates like Al Gore and John Kerry is Al Gore and John Kerry. ...
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