The Political Stage

On this special edition of 99% Invisible, we joined forces with Andrea Seabrook of DecodeDC to investigate all the thought that goes into the most minuscule details of a political campaign. Andrea was the star of episode #48 of 99% Invisible, The Bathtubs or the Boiler Room.

Andrea reveals seven (and a half) secrets about the staging of events along the campaign trail.  Like how every campaign has an “Advance Team” that flies in ahead of a candidate and makes everything from a campaign rally to a 20-minute media appearance run smoothly.

Andrea spoke with advance guys Jon Seaton and Donnie Fowler, who have been directing this very American brand of political theatre for years.

And like any theatre, one simple misdirection can go really, really badly.  Like when Romney gave his economics talk in 2011 to an empty stadium in Detroit…

…or when Sarah Palin held a press conference in front of a turkey slaughter.

Stories about the real-life impact of American politics is what DecodeDC is all about. Andrea Seabrook created the show after spending more than a decade covering politics for NPR. You can find out more about why she went rogue here, here, and here.


Andrea is raising seed money for DecodeDC with a Kickstarter campaign, ongoing through October 18.

  1. Eva

    Wow remember when Sarah Palin had a faux pas over a turkey and Bill Clinton campaigned with Harvey Weinstein?? By the way I love your website design. So clean and elegant. It reminds of outlook and a scientific field journal. Enjoying all your episodes as I work at home. Thank you for these awesome artful stories.

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