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Session 1. Introduction and Overview (Feb 18): We will discuss the critical campaign areas that we will be exploring in depth throughout the semester: Overall Strategy, Messaging Strategy, Debates, Rapid Response Capabilities, Crisis Management, and Transitions. Using examples from the 2012 Presidential Campaign, we will frame the key issues in each area and set the stage for our discussions with invited guests. What are the unique strategic challenges of a campaign that quickly reaches enormous scale than abruptly ends? How does a candidate effectively build a brand when the opponent is trying to destroy it? What happens behind the scenes on Fight Night to ensure a successful debate performance? How is it possible to assemble a high performance team to run the largest and most complex organization in the world (US Government) in less than three months? How have entrepreneurial ideas been successfully implemented in politics and public service? These and many other issues will be discussed with our experts.