Patrick Skarr, Vice President 

“…he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived.” Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter XVIII

For all of the politicians, consultants and operatives who have been planning to win the presidency from the moment President Obama won in 2008 – or during the Nixon inauguration – it’s time to take out the cleaver and give it a whirl on their opponents’ weaknesses. 

A torrent of advertisements, mail pieces and spun media coverage will decide who the next occupant of the parties’ nominees for the oval office will be. 

These messages will work to reinforce the carefully constructed theme that candidates have crafted about themselves over decades of work in politics. Everyone will promise immediate action on incredibly difficult and complex problems. 

For those of us that don’t live in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina, here is the rundown of the competing advertisements that will run back-to-back in 30 second increments (but not during primetime because who can afford those rates) for the next several weeks:

I’m going to…

Build a really big wall or Give away free college for all

I’m going to…

Pass immigration reform for some or Pass immigration reform for none

I’m going to…

Break up the banks or Buy a billion more tanks

I’m going to…

Make taxes on the rich go up just a tick or Make the tax code just a half-inch thick

I’m going to…

Repeal Obamacare on day one or Defend your right to your gun

I’m going to…

Cure diabetes or Rip up all them treaties

Candidates will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on these messages. They will be judged on how authentic the public believes they are in implementing these promises. The fiercer a candidate’s promise, no matter how complex the issue, the less they sound like a politician, and more like a person of true and unyielding conviction. 

Ideas and principles enter the legislative arena and have a way of becoming absolutes by the time the political machine is done with them.  

Which brings out Machiavelli’s advice that says less about politicians, than it does reveal an axiom of society. 

We want our political leaders to deceive us, offering promises they can’t possibly deliver. They are rewarded for saying it louder, more often and in fewer words than others. Given the volume of new streaming series, who has time to dive into details anyway?

Which is why, you can go to and view my presidential platform for 30 years from now:  

A lobster in every pot & a driverless-car in every garage 

I have a family, am alive & wear a red tie 

Let’s make America strong again! #USA

Twitter please don’t change your maximum. I just finalized my platform and it’s 9,860 fewer characters. 

A renewed goal of the Culloton Strategies team is to renew our commitment to blogging, to fill the Internet with additional prolific thoughts that must be true.