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Running an event is like cooking. You have to have a sense in advance what the ingredients are; what has to be done; how long each will take, and what this final product is supposed to look like.

You have to be able to do several things at the same time — keep reporters abreast of what will happen, make sure the visual is laid out right, make sure the participants are in the right spot. Then you have to be able to monitor everything — that is, make sure nothing is burning (too small of a crowd, an embarrassing backdrop, a late-breaking story that one reporter is working on). And like any good cook, you have to taste along the way, adding a bit more here or there, prompting a question, bringing the event to a close.

Also like cooking, the hardest part is usually timing. Far too often, it's (passed) time to go, and no one wants to leave. Edwards wants to keep taking questions, the audience wants to keep asking them, the reporters want to grab him by the door, and meanwhile another event on the other side of town is supposed to start right about NOW. You do your best to plan the times right in advance, but you end up slightly off in the end, and you struggle to make sure the steak is ready at he same time the side dish is warm, etc.

—Colin van Ostern, May 2003
NH Press Secretary, Edwards campaign

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