CARP Radio
CARP Radio
Sep 1, 2021
Political Communications 101 with Sarah Isgur
Play • 1 hr 3 min

On shows like Scandal and House of Cards, political consultants are all-powerful masterminds able to spin any scandal, hide any indiscretion, and transform small-time politicians into big-name front-runners. However, this “spin doctor” image owes more to media myth-making than real-life political communications.

In this episode, CARP media outreach director Deirdre Jane Prigge speaks with Sarah Isgur, former Justice Department spokeswoman and legal podcaster par excellence. Sarah draws from her experience on three presidential campaigns and in all three branches of government to explain what political communications professionals really do, why some character attacks work and others fail, and why Olympic curling is the best metaphor for political communications. She also shares what it was like to prepare Carly Fiorina for the 2016 Republican primary debates, her experiences as a target of character assassination, and her tips for aspiring communications professionals. 

Finally, Sarah reveals a few things you won’t hear anywhere else, like which Republican primary candidate was always lonely in the greenroom, the difficulties of finding a woman’s bathroom in the Ronald Reagan Building, and what it's like to get a voicemail from the National Enquirer. 

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Show Notes

Sarah Isgur is a staff writer for the Dispatch. She writes about political campaigns for her weekly newsletter, the Sweep, and discusses the courts with her co-host David French on the Advisory Opinions podcast. You can also find her on Twitter @Whignewtons.

For more updates about the CARP Lab's work, check out our website. We're also on Twitter @CARP_Lab.

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