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The Insiders: When tactics obscure message

I think over the years I've had worse press than Jaime, but I'm still going to part company with him here.

Journalists may be upset about the five question rule because they have a sense of entitlement, but it is also possible that it has something to do with the way they see their role in the process, and it may also have something to do with the 30 or 40 thousand bucks they are being charged for the privilege of covering the campaign.

Perhaps they are overreacting.  It seems overly controlling to me, but Bill Fox was reminding me today that in 1980 Trudeau took no questions on many days.

But for campaign managers, it doesn't really matter whether the media's reaction is justified or not.  It is what it is, and you have to deal with it.

It may be true that most people don't care whether the media are being allowed to ask questions, but it is also true that when the media are talking about not being allowed to ask questions, they are not talking about the Conservative message of the day. Tactics have gotten in the way of message. And even with a lead, the Conservatives are not in a position to do this.

It is claimed there was a time when frontrunners could coast to victory, pillar to post, by just not making too many big mistakes. That is not true now. If you don't win the campaign, you won't win the election.

Almost every election in the past 30 years has contained at least one huge swing in support.  Brian Mulroney started the 1988 campaign behind a rope and ended it debating free trade with all comers. The Conservative campaign should loosen up now.

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