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Keys To Presidential Success45:35
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With Mike Pesca in for Tom Ashbrook

What it takes to succeed on the presidential campaign trail, and on the national stage. Top strategists weigh in.

Republican presidential candidates from left, Jon Huntsman,  speaks as Michele Bachmann,  Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney,  listen during the CBS News/National Journal foreign policy debate at the Benjamin Johnson Arena, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 in Spartanburg, S.C. (AP)
Republican presidential candidates from left, Jon Huntsman, speaks as Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney, listen during the CBS News/National Journal foreign policy debate at the Benjamin Johnson Arena, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 in Spartanburg, S.C. (AP)

Almost 20 years ago, Richard Ben Cramer wrote the seminal book about the characters and character of men who would be president. What it Takes- the “it” was the mettle, experience and personality.

But what of the process itself, managing primaries and pollsters, tamping down scandals, raising money, getting press coverage, making sure it’s the right kind of coverage, managing a staff, managing expectations. This is the interview process for the most important job in the world. We’re all the hiring committee; do we like what we see?

This hour, On Point: The Presidency: what we want.
-Mike Pesca

Guests

Ken Walsh, Chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report. He has covered the presidency, presidential campaigns, and national politics since 1986.

Tad Devine, a Democratic political consultant and president of the media consulting firm Devine Mulvey. His work with democratic presidential candidates goes back to Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. He was a senior adviser in Al Gore's 2000 and John Kerry's 2004 Presidential campaigns.

Nicole Wallace, she was Communications Director for the 2004 Bush-Cheney reelection campaign and later served as White House Communications communication chief during President Bush’s second term.

From The Reading List

Reuters "It was a little noticed event in Texas governor Rick Perry's schedule, an October 28 visit to the Barley House tavern in Concord, New Hampshire, to sample a burger and be interviewed by a local radio station."

L. A. Times "These seemingly contradictory concerns aren't a sign of political schizophrenia. They are a rational response to two changes transforming the way the parties pick their presidential nominees."

U.S. News & World Report "Whether it's because of admirable perseverance or sheer stubbornness, the current batch of Republican presidential candidates never say die. Not even a feeding frenzy of epic proportions can drive them out of the race, as we've seen in the past week with Rick Perry and Herman Cain. What might have been natural exit points for politicians in the past--developments that were unsettling, embarrassing, or worse--have had little or no effect."

This program aired on November 16, 2011.

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