This coming Wednesday, something big is happening in Milwaukee: the first Republican presidential debate.
For relatively unknown candidates, such as today’s guest, the importance of the debates cannot be overstated.
While most Republican candidates are scrounging around Iowa and New Hampshire trying to find audiences of a few dozen people, in 2016, debate audiences were as large as 24 million people.
A single breakthrough moment can catapult a candidate into the national spotlight. Think about that moment in 2015 when Trump’s insult comedy started to do lasting damage to his most serious opponents.
Similarly, a high-profile mistake can tank a campaign.
Think about Rick Perry’s famous flub in 2011 when he couldn’t remember that third federal agency he wanted to eliminate.
So in a campaign that has seen very little volatility in the polls, what happens on Wednesday has the potential to actually matter.
Especially if nobody knows who you are.
Our guest today would probably object to that description, but as the governor of a state that ranks 47th in population and who is only occasionally hitting one percent in the polls, Doug Burgum is arguably the most anonymous serious candidate in the race.
So for someone like him this debate is everything.
On this week’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza talks with Burgum about how he hatched one of the most innovative schemes in memory to qualify for Wednesday’s debate; how he’s preparing to compete on the stage with big leaguers like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump — if Trump shows up; how his background as a conservative in the tech world informs his worldview; and why one photograph of him cleaning a chimney in a tuxedo changed his life.
The post How Doug Burgum plans to disrupt the GOP debate & scale his campaign appeared first on Politico.