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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Course in Oppo

Previous posts have discussed opposition research.  At GWU's Graduate School of Political Management, you can take a course in the subject.  The Washington Times reports (h/t Christiana):
Before Brett Di Resta can teach students at George Washington University what political opposition research is, he has to teach them what it isn’t.

Opposition research, he insists, is not the province of sneaky, shadowy political hit men.

Nor does it involve ill-gotten dossiers, crammed with attack-ad-ready smears and lies, exchanged in dimly lit parking garages.

It’s not even an exercise in remorseless, single-minded dirt digging — though the occasional (read: very occasional) candidate-felling, campaign-sinking silver bullet is always welcome.

“The first thing I tell these kids is that I don’t own a trench coat,” Mr. Di Resta said. “We don’t go dumpster diving. We go to courthouses. Read thousands of articles. Sift through everything.

“We’re not ninjas. The majority of researchers are basically nerds.”

A 41-year-old Democratic consultant who has worked on numerous campaigns and for Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, Mr. Di Resta proudly counts himself among the dweebs.

Now an adjunct professor at GW’s graduate school of political management, he has taught for three consecutive summers an eight-week course titled “The Not-So-Dark Art of Campaign Research.”