Attacks, often brutal, have been a part of campaigns for a long time. Why? Because they work.
Negative ads often invoke strong emotions, which can help sway voters. As such, campaigns are often filled with attacks and negative ads, which can be emotionally and mentally draining for candidates.
As a candidate, it is important for you to be prepared for these attacks, both emotionally and mentally. It’s crucial to understand that attacks will happen and to not dwell on them.
As the saying goes, if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
Preparing emotionally also includes discussing the potential hit pieces with family, friends and supporters.
Preparing mentally involves anticipating what the attack will be about, and potentially setting the record straight before the opposition can do so.
Negative ads are often designed to exploit bad decisions, and candidates should be aware of this. By anticipating the potential attacks and being prepared, you can roll with the punches and potentially even come out stronger in the end.
Paraphrasing political strategist Joe Gaylord: Attacks aren’t a problem; they’re a reality. Deal with it…or don’t get in the ring.