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Produce Powerful Presentations (Collection) by Jerry Weissman

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71. Politicians and Spin: Putting Lipstick on a Pig

In the 2010 election, Richard Blumenthal, the attorney general of Connecticut who ran for Christopher Dodd’s Democratic seat in the Senate, and Rand Paul, who ran for the Republican Senatorial seat in Kentucky, found themselves having to explain controversial statements they had made during the campaign—Mr. Blumenthal on the subject of whether he had seen active duty in Vietnam, and Mr. Paul on whether he would support the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Each man’s original statement had raised a firestorm in the media and on the Web, and each man had to make new statements to clarify his position.

In politics, this backtracking is known as spin, or “putting lipstick on a pig.” When the spin doesn’t ...

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