The Art of Connecting

Q: What do John Kerry and Jerry Seinfeld have in common?

A: Nothing, and maybe that's why Bush won.

So awhile ago, John Rogers of Kung Fu Monkey and I had a brief conversation about framing, and John posed an idea about how candidates need to be more like stand-up comedians. (Trust me on this one; it’s smarter than it sounds.) Well, John ran with it, and the result is his recent post, Learn to say ain’t…
[T]he art of politics is convincing people to connect with you. … [L]et's say the candidate's job is to walk into a room of complete strangers and get them to like him. Connect with him. Wow, the few rare politicians who can do that, they're worth their weight in gold.

I did that for twelve years. So did hundreds of other people you've never heard of. We're stand-ups, and that's the ENTRY-LEVEL for the job.

A good stand-up can walk into a room, a bar with no stage and a shit mic, in the deep goddam South or Montana or Portland or Austin or Boston, and not only tell jokes with differing political opinions than the crowd, can get them to laugh. With all due respect to our brother performers in theater, etc., we can walk into a room of any size from 20 to 2000 complete strangers with no shared background and not just evoke emotion ... we can evoke a specific strong emotion every 15 seconds. For an HOUR. A good stand-up can make fun of your relationship with your wife, make fun of your job, make fun of your politics, all in front of a thousand strangers, and afterward that same person will go up and invite the stand-up to a barbecue.

In short — every club audience is a swing state.
John’s piece is really great—I really encourage you to read the whole thing. And when you’re done, he’s got some follow-up to some popular responses he got to it here.

I’d really like to know what the wise and cool and interesting people who frequent these shores think of his idea. I dig it. What do you think?

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