Remember Joe the Plumber? Not exactly a mean-spirited heckler, but a voice in the crowd whose speak-up comment was instantly snagged by John McCain for political mileage in the 2008 presidential campaign. McCain himself got heckled again just this past Memorial Day, the poor fellow.
There are indeed far more mean-spirited hecklers than our Plumber Joe, and particularly in a political season, the heckle-ee must make on the spot decisions about whether to respond, how to respond, and whether there might be a kernel of truth or benefit hiding in the heckle. Here’s a heckle post from Steve Bell, a crisis communications guru at Eric Mower & Associates, so I’d like to turn the floor over to him.
What do you think? Can hecklers turn into political advantages?