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The Art Of Crafting An Image On The Campaign Trail

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Day in and day out candidates are on the campaign trail attempting to craft an image the public will warm up to. It takes props, the perfect setting and, hopefully for them, some supporters, and it's all done with your vote in mind. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Setting the scene can be as crucial as the message.

Insiders call it an organic process, crafting the candidate's image and letting the cameras roll.

You need the necessary backdrop.

The candidate arrives. Cue applause.

Those in the know say it's intentional and calculated.

"Trick number 1 is finding things that enhance the event, make it more interesting, make it more real, make it more human, and yet reinforce the notion that candidate X is good because of this reason," said Bradley Tusk, a political consultant.

Take a recent so-called impromptu stroll in Harlem. Eliot Spitzer was courting small business owners, but they knew he was coming.

"I knew they wanted to meet over at Sylvia's, so I made sure I picked businesses right next door," said Democratic District Leader William Allen.

"He told us yesterday that he might stop by," said one.

It was a photo op success.

Sometimes, it takes grabbing a normal New Yorker to highlight the issue and stand alongside the candidate. Occasionally, that can get tricky. At one event, candidate William Thompson

An appearance does not guarantee they are supporters of the policy either.

Take one parent who appeared for an education announcement with Christine Quinn.

"Since I don't speak English, I can't tell you what she was proposing," the parent said through an interpreter.

Props are key. It could throw a candidate off if a staffer forgets his or her visual aid.

"So, the visual didn't make it guys, sorry," Weiner said. "What are we going to do? Should we re-schedule it?"

Backdrops are designed entirely to sway voters, and campaigns hope something will end up resonating. Meanwhile, voters don't realize so much is going on behind the scenes.

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