Senator Portman had been playing Barack Obama in mock debates since 2008. That year, rehearsing with John McCain, Portman was so fierce that McCain's wife, Cindy, started crying.
"You have to be mean," Portman told CNN, "so the candidate you're helping is ready for the worst of it."
(Read More: How to Answer Those Way Too Personal Questions)
In 1984, after Reagan's weak first debate, he roared back in the next one.
And in 2008, after Obama grimaced, he resolved to "to get this right" ("Game Change").
Tip: Anyone can have a bad night—what matters is what you do the next day.
Forget perfect. Commit to continuous, never-ending improvement.
Consultant, author, speaker, and founder of express potential® (www.expresspotential.com), Paul Hellman has worked with CEOs, executives, and managers at leading companies for over 25 years to improve performance and productivity at work. His latest book is “Naked at Work: How to Stay Sane When Your Job Drives You Crazy,” and his columns have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and other leading papers.
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