An Outsider’s Guide to Presidential Politics

Mark Block reflects:

Block acknowledges that at certain points, he has struggled to manage the story.

Instead of dismissing the allegations on Sunday with a terse statement, Block initially blamed Perry’s presidential campaign for leaking the story. “The actions of the Perry campaign are despicable,” he said in an interview with Fox News.

Perry’s consultants promptly denied their involvement. Block, in a Thursday interview with Fox News, distanced himself from the accusation, noting that he is still collecting “all the facts.”

As of Thursday night, Block says, the back and forth is “finished.” No more finger-pointing, no more musing about potential political sabatoge. The Perry–Cain squabbles? “They’re over.”

“Look, we handled this brilliantly and not so brilliantly,” Block says. “If we had to do it all over again, we would have come out on Monday and said this stuff is baseless, that there are no facts in the article and the Politico never spoke with the women, so end of story, let’s move on. We wouldn’t have let it turn into this kind of feeding frenzy, spinning our wheels.”

“For future reference, to campaigns that study this unconventional campaign, remember the lesson: Respond on Day One, don’t let it spin for a couple days,” he adds. “This is a cesspool. Even if you don’t want to swim, you have to swim once you’re in the water.”

More here.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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