A campaign, writes author Jeff Greenfield, "is not an enterprise designed to produce a casual indifference toward opposition." As a result, tactics may not be entirely "fair-minded."
Some of his suggestions:
With the press:
Clear your calendar before an important private interview, but tell the reporter you can only give him or her an hour of your valuable time. Then, as the hour ends, have an aide remind you of your pressing appointment.
At that point remark: "No, I'm going to give him 15 minutes more. I need his tough questions." Eventually, extend the interview an hour or more. "It's hard," says Greenfield, for a reporter "not to like somebody like that."
In a debate:
"Answer the question you want to answer no matter what question they ask." Panel members, he says, generally won't interrupt you as long as it sounds as if you're answering the question.
If caught in a peccadillo :
"But candid. It shocks people." Besides, he adds, "The first thing the press knows is if you're not telling the truth."
If you did "X," he advises, the best thing to says is, "I did 'X,' I shouldn't have, and I won't do it again."
Attacking an opponent:
Give your criticisms a "humorous twist." In their 1960 debates, John F. Kennedy responded to an attack by Nixon by saying: "I always have difficulty recognizing my positions when they're described by Mr. Nixon." This suggests, says Greenfield, "composure" rather than "thin skin."
Another important tactic, says Greenfield, is "political jiujitsu" -- "taking a potential negative and turning it into a positive." Jimmy Carter's 1976 strategy is an example:
"I'm not a lawyer, I'm not a congressman. I don't come from Washington," Carter told the voters. Says Greenfield, "Once that might have been a debit. After Watergate, it was a credit."