When you are a spokesperson on a campaign you really have one job -- follow the script. You have your talking points. Use them. If you freelance, you do so at your own peril.
Going for the win
It's kind of like the head coach of the Denver Broncos, Mike Shanahan this past Sunday. With only seconds to go in the 4th quarter the Broncos scored a touchdown and were an extra point away from putting the game into overtime. The textbook says, you go for the sure thing - the extra point and then play it out in OT.
Shanahan has a little riverboat gambler to him. He, to the complete surprise of the veteran play-by-play announcers, went for the two-point conversion. If they wouldn't have scored he would have been lambasted. But he rolled the dice. And with plenty of drama the Broncos got the two points. Denver wins. And Mike Shanahan is crowned a genius.
In politics, you can gamble too. You can stray from your talking points but you better know what you're doing.
Bounds vs. Brown
As painful as it was to watch McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds on CNN being grilled by anchor Campbell Brown during the Republican convention (and it was very painful) - he did what he was paid to do. Follow the script. Regurgitate the talking points.
Bounds, you'll remember, was being asked what specific national security experience Sarah Palin brought to the table. Bounds answered everything but the question. Brown wouldn't relent. Bounds hung in there. It was tough going but he did not deviate. So tough that veteran White House aide David Gergen expressed admiration for Bounds after the interview.