So here’s my proposal: What if — in addition to insisting candidates sign pledges and pass other litmus tests — outside groups also mandated that before receiving financial support, a candidate must also attend campaign training?
This can make a huge difference. Candidates running for Congress in 1994 were greatly aided by training tapes and manuals sent out by Newt Gingrich’s GOPAC in the early 1990s. For four years, I worked at Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute, which trains conservatives how to be more effective in the public policy process. They do tremendous work. They even have a TV studio where conservatives can practice debating and answering tough questions before going on TV.
To be sure, not every candidate will be open to this. Some don’t realize that political technology is philosophically neutral. Some mistakenly view selling conservative ideas as selling out. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.