Digging Into Political Campaigns

PHOTO: TARA BROUCQSAULT

“If you’re going to run for [office], you need to prepare to run for [office],” advised Mr. Don Sipple as he paused his collection of videos from past political campaign ads.
Mr. Sipple spoke in Ms. Martha Elliot’s AP US Government class. His son, Fletcher, graduated from Laguna last year.
For prospective governors, the election process consists of two main steps: first, the public has to be presented with a recommendation for the next candidate; next, that candidate has to be accepted as a plausible governor.
This is where Mr. Sipple comes in. As one of the most reputable media consultants for America governors, Mr. Sipple has managed the political campaigns of various candidates, including: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pete Domenici, George W. Bush, Jim Edgar, Pete Wilson, and many more.
By telling stories and defining the campaign by moral, rather than economical values, Mr. Sipple has distinguished his campaigns from those of other media consultants through innovative advertisements and personal appeal.
In the process, he has even coined phrases such as the “compassionate conservative” and “waffle waffle flip flop,” which refers to indecisive politicians who cannot commit to a viewpoint or a strategy.
Mr. Sipple fell into the occupation of media consultation by accident, but he was always intrigued by the political campaigns that dominated his living room as a child.
“I was quite smitten [with John Kennedy’s campaign]” said Mr. Sipple.
Ever since, he has spent most of his adult life advising some of the country’s most well-known politicians on how to run their campaigns.
“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.”