“Beer and popcorn”

A now-infamous statement by Liberals Party Director of Communications Scott Reid during the 2006 election that backfired on the campaign.

In a CBC television interview in the midst the 2005/2006 campaign, Reid derided a Conservative proposal on child care by saying “Don’t give people 25 bucks a week to blow on beer and popcorn, give them child care spaces that work.”

Whatever the intention of Reid’s statement, the Conservatives seized on it as an insult to ordinary Canadians and a manifestation of out-of-touch, paternalistic elitism.

When the political cognoscenti mention “beer and popcorn”, they are pointing to the risks of overzealous, runaway spin – and to the potential of campaigns, and campaign spokespeople, to inflict damage to their own cause.

Image source: CBC Archives

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