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Extra Fizz: Mallahan on "Mike"

By Josh Feit October 7, 2009


The PI.com has a meaty Q&A with mayoral candidate Joe Mallahan this morning. Mallahan does a good job summing up his position on Mercer and the tunnel and has an engaging moment about his working class roots, but what struck me about the interview is this: Mallahan breaks the cardinal rule of campaigning.

Mallahan talks about his opponent. By name. And he even tells people about McGinn's policy proposals,  (like McGinn's proposal for muni broadband) which causes people like us to go and link our reporting on McGinn's broadband propsal.

There is a reason that Mallahan goes this route. He wants  to define McGinn (or "Mike" actually) as an obstructionist:


"Mike has had a successful career but a lot of his career has been about opposition. I'm not making judgment of whether his opposition has been a bad thing, but if you look at the two candidates and their management credentials and their leadership style, Mike has been most effective at organizing groups to oppose things."

Editorializing here, but I think it was cool that Mallahan broke the No. 1 rule of campaign politics. I think it read well. It makes Mallahan sound real (as opposed to his standoffish corporate schtick) and the framing ploy works.

The risk, of course, is that the campaign ends up being about McGinn.
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