Learning the Ropes

Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:01am

Got $15? Then you, too, can run for office — after completing “Candidate College,” naturally.

The crash course in campaigning, happening this weekend in Buffalo, N.Y., includes more than eight hours of quality time with assorted members of the politiverse (elected officials, political consultants, media). Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) remains their highest-ranking alumna to date.

According to Jonathan Cohen, chairman of the New York Policy Forum, the daylong workshop is all about sharing wisdom. “This represents a new generation of citizens getting involved … an experiment in democracy,” he suggested, noting that the sessions attract everyone from “tea party right to Occupy left.”

Some presenters relayed far less rosy reads on the road ahead.

GOP consultant Roger Stone warned would-be candidates that the name of the game is, and always will be, money.

“The secret to political fundraising is asking. Asking as many people as possible and being fearless about rejection,” Stone instructed attendees at earlier engagements.

Krystal Ball, a former Congressional candidate done in by risqué snapshots, drives home that perception is absolutely everything. “It’s not just who you are and what your strengths, or your candidate’s strengths, are. It’s also who is your opponent and what kind of a box or frame do I want to put around my opponent,” she counseled.