Fast Talk: John McCain's Pacemaker

Russ Schriefer

Media Director, John McCain Campaign
Washington, DC

Russ Schriefer, 48, credited as one of George W. Bush's main image makers, is part of the five-member advertising team who will be writing and scripting all of John McCain's campaign ads. This is Schriefer's fifth presidential race.

"In a campaign, you're telling a story over a period of time. With this one starting so early, and no lull in sight, there has to be a pacing element to it. Thirty-second ads are still going to be the way you're going to communicate your message with the most voters, faster and more efficiently. But other methods of communication are beginning to supplement television. Now you need to do television plus the Web, television plus bloggers, television plus social networking, so it all becomes part of a bigger piece.

All of these changes mean that there are no political rules anymore, and you always have to do things different and fresh. Senator McCain is willing to get on the bus with bloggers who are shooting video that they will post on their Web sites unedited. No one else has done that. What bloggers are saying today is going to wind up on the front page of The New York Times tomorrow."

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