White House Advance Man Josh King, Author of Off Script, In Conversation with Journalist Todd Purdum

Wednesday, June 8th at 7 p.m.

Off Script: An Advance Man’s Guide to White House Stagecraft, Campaign Spectacle and Political Suicide gives us a behind-the-scenes account of pivotal public moments on the political stage, including the most calamitous scenes of political stagecraft since the dawn of the “Age of Optics” (i.e., the new PR term for “what things look like”).  As the votes roll in, come and get an insider’s view with Josh King, former director of production for presidential events during the Obama years, in conversation with Politico contributor and former NY Times White House correspondent Todd Purdum, on Wednesday, June 8th at 7:00 p.m. 

off script coverThe spectacular failure of particular moments of political stagecraft  might simply be seen as cases of bad luck, but King argues that they were actually symptomatic of something deeper. In a world where political image is carefully crafted and where mistakes are magnified by the media, “image collapse” can happen when even the most polished politician veers off course.

Off Script delivers a nearly thirty year tour through the “Age of Optics.” King shows how Barack Obama began his term intensely protective of the presidential persona and guarded about employing the tactics of stagecraft readily employed by his predecessors. As we arrive at the election of 2016 and beyond, we have to wonder: Will our future president follow Obama’s example?

“..one of the liveliest and funniest political books of recent years…” Library Journal

“His skill at interspersing themes from the famous disasters and elaborating on them with his own adventures…[is] worthy of John McPhee.” Fortune

Josh King author photo.credit Patrick James MillerJosh King is a former director of production for presidential events at the White House and the co-creator and former host of PoliOptics, the weekly SiriusXM Satellite Radio show which was broadcast on the POTUS Channel from 2011 to 2014. His articles have appeared in POLITICO magazine, Men’s Vogue, the Washington Post, Brill’s Content Variety, and he has appeared on the BBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, Bloomberg Television, MSNBC and National Public Radio, among others. King is a public relations executive and lives in New York.


Photo:Gaspar Tringale

Todd S. Purdum is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and senior writer at Politico and the author of An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He previously spent more than twenty years at The New York Times, where he served as diplomatic correspondent, White House correspondent, and Los Angeles bureau chief. A graduate of Princeton University, he is married to the political commentator and former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers who is currently the executive vice president for global corporate communication at Warner Brothers. They live in Los Angeles with their two children.