This week’s EconTalk features Bruce Bueno de Mesquita discussing his latest book, The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin. Bruce is consistently fascinating, articulate and knowledgeable. Among other insights, he cites the advice that Quintus Tullius gave his brother Cicero when the latter was running for office. Quintus encourages Cicero to:
"change his air and his statements in accordance with the people he meets" and to:
slander your opponents as often as possible, reckon their crimes, their sexual depravity, or their attempts to bribe other candidates–all according to the character of the individual opponent.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
This podcast is an excellent complement to Bryan Caplan’s latest. In Bryan’s work, politicians are basically reflecting the desires of voters. Here, Bueno de Mesquita explores the importance of marketing and packaging in political campaigns to create a winning coalition.