How To Scrutinize a Candidate Part 3


By Janine Morgan

Now that we are entering the third phase of the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom, the candidates will be speaking at more and more events.

Some of these events will have a question and answer format. It's important to pay attention to how candidates answer the questions.

The following is a list of devious techniques used to avoid answering the questions in an attempt to make themselves look good.

1) Ignoring the question.
*Not acknowledging the question or the questioner. 
 *Acknowledging the question, then not answering it.
 *Bouncing the question back: 'You tell me'.
*Requesting clarification.
2) Attacking the question.
*The question does not address the key topic under discussion.
*The question is hypothetical or speculative.
*The question is based on a faulty premise.
*The question is not accurate in terms of facts.
*The question contains an erroneous quote.
*The question contains a quote that has been taken out of context.
*The question is offensive.
*The question is based on a wrong choice.

3) Attacking the questioner.

4) Giving excuses as to why not to answer.
*'I can't speak for someone else'.

5) Delaying the answer ('You will have to wait and see').

6) Claiming ignorance.

These are among the most commonly used methods to avoid answering questions on issues.

7) Making a political point.

8) Criticizing an external group (an opponent or government organization).

9) Referring to policy.

10) Defending policy.

11) Empty reassurances.

12) Incorporating nationalism.

13) Presenting an analysis of the issue.

14) Making excuses, absent of reasons.

15) Defending their group or their opinion. (Political party or a previously offered opinion or suggestion, for example.)
16) Providing an incomplete answer.

17) Beginning an answer and not finishing it (interrupting themselves).

18) Providing a negative answer: the politician says what is not going to happen instead of what is going to happen.
19) Repeating the answer to the previous question.

20) Saying or implying that the question has already been answered.