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[Politics] Prepping for the caucus game

Warm-up: studying Clinton vs. Francis

Joshua Longobardy

With the Democratic presidential caucus coming to Las Vegas on January 19, 2008, the politicians aren’t the only ones who need to sharpen their game. So too must the local media, who in fewer than three months’ time will receive their shot at the big leagues.

And, with the five major Democratic candidates making regular stops in Southern Nevada during their respective campaigns, there have been plenty of chances to warm up. For example, Hillary Clinton’s visit to KLAS-TV Channel 8 news, where she sat down for an extended one-on-one interview with veteran news anchor Paula Francis. It took place on Sunday, October 24, and it was a preseason game of sorts, so we took it upon ourselves to review the game tape the day after.

THE SETUP

What worked well:

In a collared white shirt and fine black dress pants, Francis appeared as professional as ever; and the plain blue-curtain background was conducive to focusing on the issues.

What needs to be worked on:

Ambiance was almost too friendly, too sycophantic.

FIRST-HALF EXECUTION

What worked well:

Francis was well-prepared, alluding to recent reports and research on such topical issues as foreclosures and the water shortage.

What needs to be worked on:

She permitted Clinton to divert her focus from the topics at hand and propagandize.

SECOND-HALF EXECUTION

What worked well:

Confident, natural, at ease in the interview, Francis seemed less mindful of the camera than Clinton was.

What needs to be worked on:

No adversarial or follow-up questions to Clinton’s well-rehearsed responses. Channel 8 provided Clinton one large platform to epitomize her campaign.

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