chapter  3
21 Pages

Presidential Campaigns and Elections

ByRANDALL E. ADKINS

At the most fundamental level the ambition of all candidates for public offi ce is to win. In order to win modern campaigns, political parties follow a time-tested formula that includes fi elding the best possible candidates, strong fundraising, a solid campaign organization, and excellent polling. When both political parties follow this formula, campaigns must often break with tradition and seek out innovations that will provide them with a competitive advantage. Candidates and their campaigns at the presidential level are among the most innovative. For example, in 1992 Bill Clinton’s campaign organization created a rapid response “war room” for the purpose of quickly providing the news media with their own “spin” to the criticisms of his opponents. As these entrepreneurial strategies prove successful, they become the norm in the next campaign cycle.