Policy and a Pint®: Authenticity and the Search for 'Real' in Politics


Policy and a Pint - May 29, 2014
A listener takes notes at Policy and a Pint (MPR / Leah Garaas)
Policy and a Pint - Authenticity: The Search for 'Real' in Politics
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Policy and a Pint: Authenticity and the Search for "Real" in Politics asks, what are the most important qualities in a presidential candidate? Positions on the issues, policy proposals, character? What about "authenticity?" More than ever, voters seem to be demanding that candidates are who they say they are, that they "level" with the American people. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have little in common, but they are both striking a chord with voters tired of catch-phrases and carefully-vetted positions.

The Current's Steve Seel is joined by public policy and political experts Annette Meeks and Mike Erlandson to discuss frankness and spontaneity in politics. Is it changing the tone and substance of elections in America?

Listen to the conversation above, or download the podcast. Find choice quotes from the discussion below.

On the authenticity's conflict of interest:

"I think you are challenged on 'authenticity' when you are reading from a TelePrompter ... a little too—and this is true of the vast majority of candidates, on both sides of the aisle—sort of tied in to, 'Have I poll-tested on the vast majority of what I say?' 'What are the words when I'm speaking, and to which groups?'"

—Mike Erlandson, DFL strategist, former chief of staff to U.S. Congressman Martin Sabo

On how the election process interferes with authenticity:

"Our problem is we have a process that's pretty broken. We have Iowa first in the nation. Really? Does anybody really think that Iowa should go first every year in picking candidates? ... So I kind of look at the whole process as being broken. And it's a very closed process, especially to your generation that wants to get involved, that cares passionately about these issues. And the system is almost closed off to you."

—Annette Meeks, GOP strategist, founder and CEO of the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Funded by Target, Policy and a Pint is an event series cosponsored by The Current and the Citizens League that engages people in important conversations about public policy in Minnesota.

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