How To Use The Internet To Win Elections – Colin Delany (

Eric Wilson
June 14, 2023
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How To Use The Internet To Win Elections – Colin Delany (
June 14, 2023

How To Use The Internet To Win Elections – Colin Delany (

"Organizing your campaign to take the best advantage of the tech options that are open to you. That is a really big question."

Fire up your dial up modems because we’re going old school today – our guest first started working in digital politics back in the 1990s. Colin Delany is the founder of, an award-winning website covering the field of digital politics and online advocacy. He’s also a digital strategist and consultant for campaigns and non profits. Colin is out with the 2023 edition of his book – How to Use The Internet to Change the World and Win Elections

Episode Transcript

Colin Delany:

Organizing your campaign to take the best advantage of the tech options that are open to you. That is a really big question.

Eric Wilson:

I'm Eric Wilson, managing Partner of Startup Caucus, the home of campaign tech innovation on the right. Welcome to the Business of Politics Show. On this podcast, you are joining in on a conversation with entrepreneurs, operatives, and experts who make professional politics happen. Fire up your dialup modems because today we're going old school. Our guest first started working in digital politics back in the 1990s. Colin Delaney is the founder of e, an award-winning website covering the field of digital politics and online advocacy. He's also a digital strategist and consultant for campaigns and nonprofits. Colin is out with the 2023 edition of his book, how to Use the Internet to Change the World and Win Elections. There's a link to that book in our show notes if you want to go check it out. In today's conversation, we talk about the latest trends in digital campaigning, what decision makers need to know, and a trend that we hope dies in 2024.

Colin, you've been at this for a long time. I'm curious, what surprises you the most about the trajectory of digital politics during that time?

Colin Delany:

Oh, that's a great question. I mean, there are a lot of things that haven't surprised me, like the, the greater public involvement in the process of campaigning and, and really in the process of politics. You know, I think perhaps the biggest tran or the biggest involvement that surprises me is still how little the majority of folks out there in the field know about what options are available to them. Hmm. I constantly talk with, you know, people who maybe aren't embedded in the digital advertising world, but who are, you know, very active in, in the, you know, political campaigning or grassroots political organizing who have no idea that programmatic advertising ex exists or is a thing. And I think that you know, I don't know, you know, who, who has fallen down on the job?

Is it US professionals? Is it the political parties? I, I don't know where it comes from, but if you don't know what your options are, how can you evaluate a strategy, right? That you know, you start talking about O T T versus programmatic versus social versus search for advertising. Just for advertising, right? And, you know, people's eyeballs start to roll back in their skulls. So to me that's a, a real obstacle for us trying to do our jobs as effectively as we can, that the, the clients and the the colleagues sometimes simply have the, the same background that we do to be able to evaluate and make the best decisions that they can. Yeah. I, let's unpack that for a little bit, because I think there are a few things going on there. So, right. One is, there's a, it's changing all the time, right?

It's very difficult to, to stay on top of. It's a full-time job for you. It's a full-time job for me to, to always stay on, on, on top of the trends and, and what's changing. And I think the other thing that, that causes problems here is, is it's not just one thing, right? So you think about the, the more typical, you know, legacy forms of campaigning, you can have a mail vendor, right? Someone who is an expert at doing mail. You can have someone who is an expert at phones. It is very difficult to have a single sort of expert on all things digital because it means a lot of things to different people. There. There's a lot of stuff that gets put into that vertical. So I think that's probably part of the challenge. Oh, I think you're absolutely right. I mean you know, I've been doing this a long time.

When I got involved, I remember reading articles about political market or how to market on use net news group. Yeah. Which, I'll look it up. Kids <laugh>, they were an early form of discussion group. But yeah. And then, you know, if you've been in this field a while, you know, you had time to adapt to changes in email fundraising. You had time to learn how to use face advertising as it came out. You had time to get exposed to, you know easy video production with cell phones and tablets and that sort of thing. But if you're just dropping into it, it's a huge amount, right? I mean, if you are, say you're a one person digital, you know, campaign for a statewide race even, and plenty of statewide races now still have like a single digital person if they're lucky.

You know, you've gotta know everything from, you know, grassroots tech to email fundraising, to volunteer management, to digital advertising, and figure out how to allocate your time and a limited budget among all these things. So what, what's something that campaign decision makers need to hear about digital campaigning as they're trying to make these decisions and how to wrap their hands around this <laugh>? Well one thing the advice that I just consistently hear, you know, across the board is the earlier you start, the better, right? I remember my friend Jason Rosenbaum years ago, suggesting that a campaign's first hire should be a digital person because they're gonna build the infrastructure that you need. You know, when you, you don't wanna launch without an email signup form or a Facebook page for people to connect with you on, right? Right. So, yeah.

So I think too often that the digital team is siloed off in a basement somewhere. I, I remember being on a panel with Eric Frenchman years ago. He was doing search ads, Google ads for the McCain campaign in oh eight, if I remember correctly. Yep. Man, right? <Laugh>. Yeah. He was off you know, in a silo, and he was seeing trends in the search data that he would later see, you know, in the political news coverage, you know, that, that he could see what people were looking for as an indicator of the way the discourse was gonna go. But because he was often a silo, that information never really got to anybody who could make decisions in your, in the McCain campaign. And that's just a, a, a small example, but, you know, often the digital folks are an afterthought.

Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you know, they're not up at the table. I remember Joe Rose bars, you know, who ran digital and Obama's you know, on, you know, hands on in Obama's first campaign and then, you know, was involved in it later. But he talked about how important it was for the digital team to be co-equal with the male people or the media people or the te you know, the television people that, that, you know, the digital person was going to have insights that were going to help everyone else do their jobs better. Yeah. Well, and I think we've, we've definitely achieved that in so far. We used to talk about seat at the table, right? Yeah. So digital definitely has its seat at the table. I think one of the things that sort of the next hurdle to overcome is when the, the decision makers on campaigns.

So the people who, when the door closes are, are figuring out where budgets go and what you're going to do are digital natives. Yeah. And, and that, that just takes some age. That just takes, so, and again, I, I think it also takes people growing up out of the shadow of Uhhuh <affirmative>, kind of like the, the, the previous class. So one of the things I always like to, to, to wonder about is, do you think we'll have a digital department, maybe 10 years, 20, push it out, how, however far you wanna go, do you think we'll still have a digital department that's separate? Or, or will it just be totally integrated in everything that a campaign does? Well, I think it'll be integrated in everything that a campaign does, but you know, there'll still be specialization involved, right? Like, you may not, I mean, honestly, it really depends on, on where the tech platforms go themselves.

You know, how are people gonna consume their information? You know, if Mark Zuckerberg is right, we'll do everything we do in the metaverse, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I don't think that's gonna happen, <laugh>, but but those are the kinds of changes that could happen that will affect, you know, how campaigns are structured. They'll be structured based on, you know, how the media mix is evolving and how campaign practices are evolving. You know field organizers are often kind of pushed off into their own little corner, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But if you, again, go back to, to oh eight and 2012 Obama campaigns, they were making strategic decisions where to send surrogate, for example, based on partially on polling data, but also on field data that, you know, was allowed to filter up to the top. Right? So but that also was the culture of the candidate being a community organizer himself.

Being a community organizer. Exactly. They trusted conversations on the ground in a way that a lot of political media people, you know, television people weren't going to, right? Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, as field rises, you know, it, it starts to need more of a seat at the table too. But, you know I still think that there will be specialization required to get the most out of digital tools, but I think that the, the media delivery systems are gonna converge over time. Hmm. Okay. Yeah. So it's, it's more of a does digital mean cutting edge technology? In which case there is some specialization that is, that is gonna be needed there, but, but, but if you think about digital as communications you know, or, or the infrastructure, well, that's already been integrated in every aspect of the campaign, cuz there's not, it's not like there's a team that doesn't use email.

Exactly. Exactly. And, and so I'm, I'm curious if, you know, you, you talked about Usenet and, and you know, you, you were really early in, so web one, we've, we've survived web two with social media, so you've seen that arc. I'm curious, what was your expectation for kind of the social media era of politics and campaigning and, and do you think on the whole, that it's been a net positive for, for politics and democracy? Yeah. Well, that's, you have you have two minutes to respond. Well, if you go back, I wrote, but I, I asked this, Colin, because you have a perspective that a lot of people don't. So, you know, I first started working on Capitol Hill the same month that Twitter came online. So, which, which, which still puts you in, like probably the first 20% of adopters, right?

I feel, yeah, I feel very old most of the time when I'm talking about colleagues. But no, I think, and, you know, I wasn't as, as much a I wasn't a social media utopian, right? There was a lot of talk in like 2007, 2008, the social media was gonna completely replace email and completely replace, you know, other means that candidates would use to stay in touch with people. And it simply hasn't. You know, I think that that social connection still has the potential. You know, I think it's very strong for grassroots organizers. You know, we've seen protestors around the world use social media to organize and continue to do it. We've watched the Ukrainians, you know when the Russians were invading, organize their own, you know, networks basically over social media. You know, where I think it really missed the boat was when they chose to prioritize engagement over every single other criteria that that's when the extreme content, the most shocking, the most out there is gonna get engagement.

And that allowed a, a relatively small number of people to take over the conversation online. I think that they allowed us to poison that well. Right? And for something like Facebook, I don't know how easily it comes back. The other thing, I don't think I really predicted just the sheer volume of content that we would be swamped with. I do remember, actually, I remember asking Chuck Todd a question about that after a presentation like 15 years ago. How are we gonna tell the good stuff from the bad? And it kinda blew me off. But you know, it is, we are swimming in, you know, the, the flooding the zone with poop, right? We are, we are swimming in that world right now. And, you know, AI may be one of those things that helps us cut out, you know, helps us filter information out.

I have a friend Ukrainian friend who's working on a project with the government for, you know, AI assisted Russian disinformation tracking. Right? I think that in some way, we're all gonna have to be our own, you know, bullshit detectors. So yeah. It does seem like social media is very effective at connecting the initial, making sure communities of interest or people find each other, but then when it comes down to it, the serious relationship building or, or the real work goes into more closed spaces, whether that is Facebook groups or mm-hmm. <Affirmative> WhatsApp or, or, or in-person meetings, but it, it Slack channels. Yeah. And so it doesn't have that long-term capacity that we really thought it, you know, would be, and, and there's, there's a reason that people don't talk to each other all the time. Right. <laugh>, that's a very good point. But what I, I missed the early days of Facebook when I would actually see content from my friends, you know, and to that, no, it's press releases.

I mean, that, that's really what it had turned into. It's, it's, it's, yeah. And, and if you try to post a link to something substantive, like I post a link to an Atlantic article the other day, nobody'll see it, you know, because again, they have prioritized engagement over information. Right. And it does. Yeah. You, the, you point that out, and it does strike me as one of those decisions that was made early on by someone who I think was, we, we won't ever know who that person was, but it was well-meaning, right? It was, it, it was so like, how do we, how do we show the, the best, the most engaging content? And then it had this like, butterfly effect with the rest of the world, similar to like banner ads in web era. I think you can point to some very specific decisions that Facebook in particular made about 2018 maybe a little earlier, but they, you know, they made changes to, you know, the content distribution algorithm that really, that prioritized engagement over con, if I understand it right, that prioritized engagement over content from friends.

And that was designed to keep us on the platform longer so we can see more ads. To me, it was a business decision, I would argue a very shortsighted one, but I think it was a business decision. Yeah. You're listening to the Business of Politics Show. I'm speaking with Colin Delaney, the founder of about all things digital campaigning. You're back out with the, the latest edition, I think is the 10th edition of your how to Use the Internet to Change the World and Win Elections Book. I'm gonna ask you to put your pundit hat on. You work on the other side of the aisle from me. How would you rate and review the, the strengths of, of Republican versus Democratic digital campaigning right now? <Laugh>? Well, I mean, they're good at different things, right? You know except for the you know, parts like the pro-life movement, you know, the, the conservative side has not embraced field organizing and like, like organic list building, the kind of peopley sorts of things Yeah.

As much as the, the left has. And, you know, there are lots of reasons for that. You mentioned Obama's background as a, a community organizer. I just think that ethic is built into the work that a lot of people do as they come up in the democratic world. But you know a whole lot of vote, you know, early on, the Republicans, you know, were, were doing more sophisticated work, you know, way back. You got 20 years back more sophisticated work on voter data, right? But I think they embraced digital advertising much more quickly and embraced different options. You know, there were points where, oh, I think it was 2016, where Republican House candidates outspent Dems four to one on digital ads in the last, you know, two months of the campaign, something like that. I think the, that the online advertising thing has evened out.

You know, it, it really, now, and this is something you'll hear from Republican consultants a lot. I certainly hear it at events that I do with campaigns and elections is that, you know, the Democrats build lists, Republicans buy them, and I really think it would, yeah. I think it would behoove, you know Republican campaigns to put a lot more time into that grunt work that it's trench warfare and not blitzkrieg, right. Of trying to build a list one name at a time with somebody who actually cares about you. Well, and that, that's the difference between Republican campaigns and democratic campaigns. I always tell people it's like Darwin's Finch, we evolved on separate islands to, to tackle different problem. And I love it. That's great. And you know, you've got liberals the left who are, who are joiners. They, they have the causes that they believe in, and there's always, you know, you, you're always fighting for the environment.

You're always fighting through your liberty. Exactly. Whereas Republicans you know, our strength comes from what we call the Leva Stallone Coalition <laugh>, and by its very name, you know, that they're not joining groups and tabling outside of plazas and farmer's markets and things like that. So it's just a different, different culture in that, that Yeah. That changes the dynamics of it for sure. No, and I think that's a really good point too, just about the culture of campaigning, and I think that is something that's evolving. You know my God, 25 years ago, voters were just expected to absorb TV ads and vote accordingly. Right? Right. That the, the culture of campaigns across the board, Republicans, well, they didn't have any other choice. I think that's the, the big transformation. Well we had more choices than, than we thought, I think.

But yeah, the digital tools certainly enable it, but that the, the, the digital revolution has allowed so many more people into the process. You know, it's not just a handful of media consultants anymore. Right. And I think that's very healthy for innovation. It's very healthy for the culture of campaigns. And, you know, ultimately, I suspect that the Gen Z, the conservative Gen Zers may well change the way Republican campaigns are run in the future. Yep. And so in your, in your time you've been doing this, you've convinced a lot of people whether that's to try digital at all or, or try new things. What, what are some of your tips for getting buy-in from those campaign decision makers that, that might otherwise be resistant to trying something new? Yeah. Now this, I've certainly encountered this. A a whole lot of my work has been with advocacy nonprofits, and you run into similar kinds of, of issues on campaigns.

I think the advocacy nonprofits that folks might have been entrenched a little longer and a little harder to change. Right? Well, you don't have that public job performance review of a win loss. Yes, exactly. Why you part of the solution when you can keep being part of the problem. Yeah, yeah. No, we have process measures in the nonprofit world. It's we sent five press releases out, not we won. Right. But but I, I think that the basic principles apply, you know, across the board, which is, you know take time to persuade people, take time to listen to why they don't want to do X, Y, and Z, rather than just dismissing them as out of touch, which is very easy to do. The other thing I think, and this is most important, is to find ways to test things out. You know, like find ways to try something on a small scale so you can demonstrate to them that it works.

You know, try Facebook advertising to, you know, get people to come to an event, you know you know experiment with different techniques of email fundraising to show them that X X, Y, Z works, but the thing their cousin told them doesn't work. Right. Yeah. <Laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. So that, that you can put, you know, you can actually show evidence for here, here is why I think we should do this thing. Yeah. Well, what you can hear all the time is that's not how we do it here. Right. And I think one of the, the, the big challenges that I see, again, I I, I, I feel like a, a, a geezer at this point, but you know, the, you really need to have that experience of, you know, being in a campaign or being an organization. You, on one hand, it is, it's great that it's easier than ever for someone to start a company to be their own consultant.

But on the other hand, you, you do need that experience. Why? Because it gives you empathy into the decision makers. So if you don't realize that a candidate or a, a campaign manager is worried about their burn rate and their cash on hand, and you go in and suggest that they, you know, do this, that, or the other, well, you're gonna run into a brick wall every time. Yeah. But it's only being on that campaign where you run outta money that you, you appreciate what they're going through. Well, and I think too that's definitely absolutely true. Also, you understand more of the pressures that they're under. Right? Right. Like, when, when, when the human brain is under, you know, has to make 15 incredibly important decisions in a five hour period. Right. <laugh>, we're not built press starts to dull you. You know, my first my first experience in politics was working as a, a staff to a member of the Texas legislature way back in the way on back.

And, you know, after like, when, when Democrats still ran it was the Democratic party was in the process of imploding <laugh>. I worked, yeah. I worked for a conservative dem who was probably the last Democrat to hold that seat for the foreseeable future. But you know, after a couple of months of session, we were just loopy as hell, right. From stress, lack of sleep, et cetera. And I do think that that may be one reason that campaign managers or decision makers can sometimes throw up obstacles, is that they're simply too stressed to handle another variable. Right. And that's something that unless you've been in that kind of environment, it's harder to understand. Yeah. And that's one of things that we've, we talk about on this show a lot is pattern recognition. It's a very important heuristic for campaign managers, consultants, candidates for, for making decisions.

And, and understanding that that pattern that you, you fit into, whether it's a request, whether it's a pitch whether it's trying to get hired you really need to understand how that all fits together. Ah, that's a great point. I had never really thought of it that way, but I, I really appreciate that idea. Yeah. And so, Colin, I want to ask you an another challenge that I, that I see a lot, and I'm, I'm curious if you've noticed this too. You know, particularly on, on social media, the online fundraising, some of these, you know, bigger, more innovative digital tactics, they're not going down the ballot in the ways that canvassing direct mail. Even some forms of broadcast advertising are, are going. Do you think we're gonna see a fork where there's kind of like the national level, high priority campaigns and then the campaigns below?

Or, or do you think there's, there's gonna be a generational shift where, where do you see that tension resolving? Good question. You know, I think there, there probably will be some kind of you know, generational shift in, in adoption of some tech. But I, I do think that with the down ballot, the biggest struggle is some of the resources and, and pri you know, and for, since so many things in like the digital organizing world aren't that expensive, the main resource is time. Right? It's that mental energy I was just talking about. That, you know, if you're, you know, if you're running for state ledge and, you know, you've got a staffer and a bunch of volunteers it is really hard to put more sophisticated tech ideas to work, even if you would like to.

And, you know, groups have tried, there was tech for campaigns, things like that would try to connect techies with political campaigns. I, I know it's done on the left, and I assume it's been done on the right too, that but the, the, you know, they, they're great at going in and setting up your Facebook page or setting up your Gmail or something like that. But when it comes to campaign, like organizing your campaign to take the best advantage of the tech options that are open to you, that is a really big question. Right. I think consultants aren't going out of business anytime soon. Yeah. Cuz I mean, so many people want that, that turnkey. I just hired a consultant. It's done. And, and you, you and I know that that's not how digital organizing works. That's not how content creation, online audience building works.

So I, I think that figuring out the business model Yeah. Is, is gonna be the, the challenge there. So we obviously have seen our share of, of fads and trends in, in campaigns, and I think this year is setting up to be the ai <laugh> the election cycle. What do you, what's your and to be clear saying this, the, the fad is that it's gonna be the AI election. Where do you see that fitting in with the, the grand scheme of things? Is it gonna totally revolutionize the way we run campaigns, or, or is it gonna be something a little more subtle than that? Yeah, it's a, it's a big question. I think that a lot of the people who are hyping AI and politics haven't dug that deeply into it. Right? I think that the people who are actually working with a day-to-day are often a lot more measured in how they appro, you know, how they talk about it Yeah.

Than the hype meisters are. There are still a lot, and I wrote about this in campaigns and elections just recently, there are a lot of, of barriers to entry that aren't obvious, right? Like you asked chat g p t to write you a fundraising email, and it's gonna write a very generic land fundraising email. Now, if you're the Democratic National Committee and you can feed it, you know, you can prompt the AI with 30 really high performing email fundraising messages and ask it to create more in that vein you can get some good results out of it. Well, chat GD should probably stop you at that point, right? The, the, well it should if, if it does <laugh> Yeah. Because not everyone knows, actually know until recently Yeah. Is that they changed their terms of use. But I was just using that as an example, right?

No, no, no. Yeah. yeah. Well, that's one of the, the challenges, right? Because it's Yeah. Not exactly friendly to our work <laugh>. And it takes, it takes specialization to get a whole lot of benefit out of it. Now they're gonna be individual tech nerds out there on down ballot campaigns who will have a blast with it, who will use it to create, you know, email content, you know cut turf for you know, turn a spreadsheet into optimized walk list, whatever. Yeah. but I do think that those are gonna be more productivity gains on the margins rather than something that's transformative. Now, you know, deep fakes, obviously, and I know your guest a couple of weeks ago talked a lot about this, but you know, there are limitations of the deep fakes too, you know, the same way that people put you know stock footage or stock images that are completely inappropriate.

They're the wrong country, right? Yeah. Immediately people are like, what the hell? I mean, you're seeing campaign style videos that are trying to show the military campaign style videos that are trying to show the military generically and they're showing the wrong army, you know, or fighter jet from Europe. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Russian uniforms, you know the kind of thing that a nerd like me might spot, but a normal person who's not, not embedded in the nerd world as much, you know, there are gonna be things that they are far less likely to catch. And I, I don't think it's gonna take too many news stories about, you know, somebody's terrible AI video that it's gonna chase in campaigns. And I think it's really incumbent on us. You know, I'm giving you a small example. I was talking to my friend Henry McKen Bay the other day.

He runs do big things, which works with democratic candidates a lot. And he talked about, you know, how many campaigns has plagiarism ended, right? So you get chatbot to write your campaign speech, you know, you got a speech for your candidate, and all of a sudden they're, you know, Joe Biden in 1987, and they have to drop outta the race, so you're writing their concession speech next <laugh>. Yeah. So those are the kinds of, those are the kind of things that I think are gonna temper how we use this. Yeah. And I, I, I, again, I just keep going back to this idea of it, these tools are all about leverage and, and to your point, getting, getting improvements at the, the margins rather than than, than the big swings and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. and so I, I, I think you, you know, there'll, there'll be the, it's definitely the shiny object.

They're gonna be the spectacular failures, but the, the successes will be very quiet. And on the other side of the coin what, what's a digital campaigning trend that you're ready to say goodbye to in, in 2024? <Laugh>? That's a good question. I don't have a good one for that one. I think some are gonna die on their own. What I would love to get rid of, and I never, and will never go away, is g whizz co news coverage of the latest, you know? Oh, yeah, yeah. The thing that's driving the AI hype. I was talking, you know, when I talk to reporters these days, I bring up the micro-targeting hype of, you know, 10 years ago that Yeah, it helps us, you know, microtargeting helps us get more out of our budget and might identify some voter niches, you know, and help us reach some effectively, but it hasn't utterly transformed, you know, we aren't out there manipulating people's brains, you know?

Right, right. Yeah. Well, and, and, and by the way, in, in many cases, it starts to backfire, right? If you're micro charging people based on their past electoral performance. Yeah. yeah. Well, and that brings up, you know, one of the big problems, I think, and this is a particular problem for Democrats, because I think we have, Democrats have more potential voters who are not voting out there, I think. And yet, you know, in a lot of places, these people have never been canvased, you know, they're not, obviously not in the voter file if they're not registered. Right. And for Democrats in particular I think that, that, that is a huge challenge that, you know, if you look at how Georgia has changed, in part it is because of not just Stacey Abrams group, but a lot of groups out there organizing non-voters.

Yeah. And I'm seeing the same thing too on our side, the Center for Campaign Innovation did a survey in Virginia last year in one of the congressional races. And, and fully about a third of the people who voted in the primary didn't have any previous primary vote history that has to do with some of the, the vagaries of Virginia. Oh. We still have a lot of state run or, or party run com contests. But you know, if you were just going on the voter file, he would've missed, missed a third of the electorate. So yeah, that's, that's certainly the, that o over, over targeting. You know, I, I have to say, I really love the hype cycles just because it helps, you know, gin up investors and, and people who Sure. I didn't want, I don't wanna build that kind of stuff, especially when it's your side doing it I guess say, oh, look what they're, look what they're building.

Oh, sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, the fastest way to I mean, that's, I mean, the, the, the Pentagon runs on that, right? Yeah. I mean, they've been putting out, it is very funny to go back. I have actually looked at a couple of the threat assessments from back in the seventies against the Soviet Union, and they're pretty funny. The Russians were about to beat us every day, you know? Right. Meanwhile, they can barely feed their people <laugh>. Exactly. Exactly. So yeah, no, if you see the other side doing something that is a fantastic way to get budget. Right. Well, I wanna say thank you to Colin for a great conversation. Make sure that you go subscribe to It's a weekly must read for, for me and his new book is great. It's got some good insights if you want to see what the other side is up to.

But, but also good tips for everyone involved. And to be fair to Colin, it is bipartisan. There's oh yes. I mean, [inaudible]. I may, I make fun of you guys sometimes, but that's a <laugh>. And there's a link to all of that in our show notes. If this episode made you a little bit smarter or gave you something to think about, you know, all we ask is that you share it with a friend or colleague that helps more people find the show and it makes you look smarter in the process. So it's a win-win all around. Remember to subscribe to The Business of Politics Show wherever you get your podcasts. You can subscribe that way, you'll never miss an episode. You can also get email updates at our website, business of politics With that, I'll say thanks for listening. See you next time.

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Eric Wilson
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