ICGB   70-246  , 220-801   N10-006   70-461   VCP550   642-999   CISM   200-125  , CISM   70-177  , 200-120   300-320   1Z0-144   JK0-022   300-209   200-355   NSE4   1Y0-201   300-206  , 2V0-620   70-412   MB2-707   300-208  , 1Z0-060   PEGACPBA71V1   LX0-103   000-105   300-209   000-080   1Y0-201   642-732   70-177   70-410   74-678   101-400   MB2-707   MB5-705   500-260   1Z0-051   700-501   MB2-704   70-412  , 70-177   300-209   070-461   2V0-621D   3002   200-125  , CISM   70-410   810-403   220-901   300-115   350-018   000-104   1Z0-803   OG0-091   M70-101  , 200-355   74-678   70-461   210-065  , 2V0-621   200-125  , CAP  , CAS-002   200-310   N10-006   100-101   70-483   MB6-703  , CISSP   1z0-808   300-115   000-089  , 070-461   70-980   70-412   642-732   CAS-002   70-463   350-018   220-801   M70-101   CCA-500   70-461  , MB6-703   102-400   HP0-S42   102-400   74-678   640-911   210-260   SY0-401   350-080   70-243   70-980  ,

Episode 118, with guests Peter Hamby, Scott Conroy and Blake Zeff, with guest host Jeff Smith

Peter Hamby, Scott Conroy and Blake Zeff are our guests this week.
With guest host: New School Professor and former Missouri Senator Jeff Smith
Show produced by Katherine Caperton.
Original Air Date: September 14, 2013 on SiriusXM “POTUS” Channel 124.
PoliOptics airs regularly on POTUS on Saturdays at 6 am, 12 noon and 6 pm.
Follow us on Twitter @Polioptics
Listen to the show by clicking on the bar above.
Show also available for download on Apple iTunes by clicking here

Peter Hamby

Hi – I’m Jeff Smith, and I’m filling in for Josh this week – an action packed political week around the world, given new developments in Syria and Russia. But the action was also furious right here in New York City, where Polioptics is based, where primary voters made picks in an array of citywide and city council races. After the break, we’ll analyze those elections with Salon political editor Blake Zeff, who’s no stranger to the trench warfare that doubles as local politics here, as a former aide to both New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, as well as several other notable New York pols.


But first, we dig deep into the way that technology – Twitter in particular – has transformed media coverage of politics, with a special focus on the 2012 elections. For that we welcome CNN correspondent Peter Hamby, who recently completed the spring term as a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Hamby recently published a widely-acclaimed study on the dramatic changes to the media landscape during the 2012 presidential cycle – a 95-page tome which explains how politics is covered in 140-character bursts.  Also joining us is Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics, who literally wrote the book on a political pioneer in using new media to mobilize supporters, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. It’s called Sarah From Alaska, and remains a definitive account of Palin’s rise and brutal education in the piercing glare of the national media spotlight.

* * *

Back in late 2008, as a Missouri state senator, one of my aides suggested that I get on Twitter. “What’s Twitter?” I asked, and she explained that it would be a cool new way for me to let my constituents know what I was up to. “Sounds great,” I said, “like a neat way to tear down the walls between me and my constituents.”

“Exactly!” she exclaimed, before telling me there was absolutely no way in hell she’d let me tweet directly without filtering it all.

And this, in a nutshell, is the paradox of Twitter, and of social media and other new technological advancements in politics: While it often purports to give the public an unobscured glimpse of politicians’ unfiltered views, most politicians’ social media accounts are managed by the same type of spin doctors (albeit often younger ones) who script their every utterance. Thus the conundrum Hamby describes in his recent Harvard study: politicians may appear closer to the people than ever – with their snappy tweets, Instagrams, and personalized emails that begin “Hey” –  and yet the 2012 nominees for president were as cloistered as any in history. John McCain’s straight-talk Express, in which he regaled reporters with literal and figurative war stories that were understood by all to be off the record, were a distant memory. By 2012, some members of the press traveled inside candidate “bubbles” for days without ever being in the vicinity of the actual candidate – or even getting an on-the-record comment from a senior aide.

In our conversation this week Hamby and Conroy pull a McCain, taking us to the back of the bus, and regaling us with an inside look at life inside the bubble. The two young media stars describe the cynicism of the reporting pack and explain why they – and modern-day voters – seem to be gravitating towards less packaged, more “authentic” – or at least, packaged to seem more authentic – candidates. This helps explain the success of Republican Chris Christie in one of the nation’s bluest states – and may portend problems for a hyper-cautious 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign that Hamby suggests may be loaded with 90s-era retreads ill-suited to the snark-tastic modern media climate. Unsparing when it comes to candidates, consultants, and their own colleagues, Hamby and Conroy serve up a segment Polioptics fans won’t want to miss.

* * *

Blake Zeff

After the break, Blake Zeff, Salon’s new politics editor and a New York political veteran, provides a healthy dose of insight into this week’s New York City municipal elections. Among other provocative statements, Zeff contends that Bill de Blasio’s virtually certain nomination as the Democratic candidate for mayor doesn’t signal the national Democratic revival that many commentators have heralded. Instead, as Zeff persuasively argues in a recent column, de Blasio’s victory is simply the continuation of a long trend in New York Democratic primaries whereby the most liberal of the plausibly electable candidates wins the nomination.

This is not, of course, to take anything away from the incredibly disciplined and effective messaging of the de Blasio campaign. It is merely a wise corrective on those who would project the views of under 300,000 voters in one of the nation’s most liberal cities onto the 300 million citizens residing outside New York City. In any case, Zeff has few peers when it comes to New York politics – he knows whose which councilman’s uncle double-crossed which district leader’s cousin and why, and what the political implications are two decades later – and he brings his intimate knowledge to Polioptics listeners across the nation this week.


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