The Pivot, Political Rhetorical Technique – Usage, Al Franken

Raising money (“It’s not uncommon to have three straight hours of call time scheduled as part of your day. … It’s brutal.”)

Campaigning (“Imagine the training montage from a Rocky movie … but instead of jumping rope, I’m eating hot dish at an assisted living facility. … [I]nstead of guzzling a dozen raw eggs, I’m being driven five hours to speak for five minutes at the Otter Tail County convention.”)

Remembering voters’ names (“Here’s a tip: if you want to get an officeholder to dislike you, go up to him or her and say, ‘I bet you don’t remember my name.’ “)

Franken says the strangest skill to learn was the art of the “pivot” — essentially, ignoring reporters’ questions. “If someone said, ‘Why are you 20 points behind?’ I explained, ‘Well, you know, we have a long time to go.’ ”

His campaign staff quickly shut that down. “They’d say, ‘No, no, no — just pivot! Just say, “Minnesotans don’t care about the polls. What they care about is their kids’ education and whether they’re going to go bankrupt if they get sick.’ ”

“It took me forever to learn how to do that,” Franken says.

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Scott Detrow, NPR