Jason Johnson’s new book Political Consultants and Campaigns: One Day to Sell was the subject of an article in Campaigns & Elections magazine.
Johnson discussed his findings in the article “Coming Down from the Ivory Tower” in the September issue of Campaigns & Elections magazine. The article focused on “where academics get it wrong about consultants and why we should be working together.”
There was one question that totally stumped me early in my political career and it helped push me toward a life in academics: “Whose kin are you?”
It was 1998. I was fresh out of college working as a campaign manager on two state Senate races in the rural South Carolina low country. I figured after running campaigns on campus and taking an elections class under Professor Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia, I was ready for anything in the field. Instead, I found myself on a ramshackle front porch in 100-degree heat with a woman who could care less about my canvassing duties (or my candidate) and she was asking me a question I didn’t know how to answer. Just whom was I related to in that small town that would give me reason to be on her front porch trolling for votes? “Whose kin are you?”