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How Perot '92 Will Affect Election 2012

Perot was just a different kind of a candidate. He wanted to have a conversation with the American people and the way he did it was to buy the air time and get on TV with his charts and his pointer to go through what he felt was wrong with American and the American financial system and what needed to be done about it.

That was his campaign and that was the way he wanted to campaign. He thought it was so foolish to fly around from place to place and give a stump speech over and over again in different states to different people. He thought it was just so silly and it may be, but that's the way it's done by the other candidates. He saw what he thought was a better way.

Part of it had to do with his basic personality. He wanted to level with the American people and didn't want a lot of the campaign frou-frou that the candidates had 30 years ago and still do today.

Posner: It's because Perot didn't use focus groups. He didn't rely on "experts" coming in to tell him how he should run the campaign.

All of the experts said the same thing: You don't buy half-hour blocks of time because that will only reach a small part of the market. Keep running ads. The consultants believe there's no single piece of TV that gives you states.

Perot said to hell with that. I'm going to go on, buy my TV time, hold up my charts -- which Rollins and others cringed at initially -- and people loved that stuff. A lot of people said it was too hokey and didn't like it and a lot of them weren't Perot voters in the first place, but the power of those was a testament to how you can change the way campaigns are traditionally done.

The caveat is that you just can't get up there and buy national air time and host half an hour if you're going to put people to sleep. If you're Romney, Gingrich or Santorum, you're probably not going to knock them out of the park, but if you're Herman Cain you just might out of curiosity's sake.
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