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This blog offers an international look at the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Indeed, campaigners worldwide are fascinated with American election campaigns. We observe relentless paid television advertising, straight-forward attack spots, sophisticated targeting and record-breaking fundraising. One cannot – and should not – simply copy paste American campaign techniques. However, campaigners out there in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia can get a lot of inspiration and specific takeaways from the most professional campaign in the world. This is the purpose of this blog.

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl: An Outstanding Campaigner

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl died last Friday. His historic accomplishments with respect to the European Union and the German reunification have rightfully been praised in many media outlets. I would like to add that from a campaign perspective, Kohl was an extraordinary talent. To begin with, he ruled Germany for sixteen years. He led the German Christian Democratic Party CDU through five nationwide elections – coming close to the absolute majority twice. If you add to this the countless European and statewide elections, Kohl was truly a campaign machine. His biggest achievement in that respect was probably the 1994 elections. A few months before Germany went to the polls, Kohl was far behind in the surveys, but he was able to – single handedly - pull off a stunning comeback. A key moment in this comeback was Kohl’s speech at the CDU party convention, which I highly recommend reading to anyone interested in campaigns.

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