Playing the political incumbent is a marvelous role if the country is thriving, and a terrible one if it isn’t. This year’s presidential climb is a steep one for both candidates, and President Obama has a pretty unimpressive economic record to overcome in order to win a second term. How to do it? Former presidential campaign spokesperson Dorie Clark offers three key tips: put your opponent on the defensive (a task which Obama’s team has excelled at thus far), articulate a clear, positive vision for the future, and emphasize the “switching costs” of electing Mitt Romney by reminding voters that, at the very least, Obama is a known entity, unlike Romney — who has significant branding challenges of his own to overcome.

Read the story.