The tricky thing about strategic communications in government or political environments is that…well, human beings are involved. People make mistakes, they can get distracted, or completely forget their train of thought.
It doesn’t matter how many times you go through those talking points, some people are good at remembering these points in a speech and some are not. Some people can think quick on their feet and some can’t.
There are actually an endless amount of things that can potentially go wrong, or very right when a politician opens his or her mouth. One sentence can be remembered forever, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” This sentence defined the Kennedy presidency and will never be forgotten. On the other hand, if a misstep is made, in a moment’s notice you can be thrust into crisis communications. This is why I partly find this area of communications so thrilling. It’s kind of like strategic adrenaline.
This morning, Sen. John McCain had such a blunder and democrats across the nation rejoiced. I can’t help but think of the press staff behind the scenes and each of their reactions. Please know, I’m not trying to take a shot at anyone, or at any party. Mistakes happen on both sides and nobody is perfect. This video is just a good example of how quickly something can go so very wrong.