2. High-profile supporters say what they please. Believe me when I tell you, it’s not easy to tell prominent elected officials and leaders what to say – even if you wanted to. High-profile surrogates not only have minds of their own, but most are accustomed to being the big dog in his or her respective universe, and treated as though they’re always right. The result? Campaigns end up with freelancers, who think they’re being helpful, by simply saying what’s on their mind.
Ferraro wasn’t the only surrogate who caused agita for the Clinton campaign. History buffs and masochists may also recall unauthorized remarks from supporters like Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s husband, Billy and BET’s Robert Johnson that observers were convinced were sanctioned by the campaign, but were anything but.
Having dealt with the incessant calls from the New York tabloids when these beauties hit the fan, I can assure you that these “helpful” comments by supporters are often unwanted and unsolicited. Having to answer whether the comments were authorized, whether their utterers would still get to be a member of whatever perfunctory “steering group” they sat on, and whether the campaign agreed with them, were not good days for a war room already trying to control several moving parts.