The 10 Biggest Debate Mistakes A Candidate Can Make

11:35 am ET

Based on watching presidential debates over the years, here are the biggest mistakes candidates can make:

  1. Coming in tired.
  2. Compounding an early error by getting distracted and making the same kind of error again.
  3. Unleashing a canned one-liner that bombs.
  4. Not knowing how to balance looking at the camera, the moderator, and the opponent.
  5. Answering ANY process question directly.
  6. Forgetting that bigness, graciousness, humor, and speaking to the aspirations of the American people trump everything else.
  7. Not making sure that the hair and makeup look good on TV.
  8. Forgetting that the mic is always on — and the cutaway camera is too.
  9. Forgetting that the more optimistic candidate wins most every time.
  10. Failing to live Alex Castellanos’ sage dictum: debates are about delivering big moments of strength.
Related Topics: Barack Obama, Mark Halperin, Mitt Romney, Presidential Debates, 2012 Elections, Analysis, Democratic Party, News, Republican Party, The Page, White House

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