Political Jargon Buster: Advance Man

Photos: (Getty, MTV Act)

45 million 18-29 year olds will be eligible to vote in this year’s presidential election, representing the largest potential voting bloc in the country. Learn more about the issues, register to vote and get involved with MTV’s Power of 12. Today, we’ve got another “Jargon Buster” for you.

advance man (noun): the person who travels ahead of politicians, arranging publicity, security and scheduling details before the candidate arrives

Oh, the life of a big shot! Imagine if everywhere you went, a crew was awaiting you with a streamlined agenda and a well-prepped plan. Pish-posh with those tedious hotel check-ins, those boring admin tasks, those sound-checks and schedulings and lines to wait in.

Forget about laying a plan. Your plan was made pretty before you.

Having an advance man (or two… or ten) would be like having your own personal flower girls — except rather than a pouffy dress and a basket of petals, it’d be a team of suits with a briefcase full of briefings. (Then again, in the case of J.Lo or Mariah, there’s a very good chance that a pouffily dressed “advance team” hits up the diva dressing room with bushels of petals for real. Reason No. 419 that pop stars and politicians are not so distant relatives.)

In Rochester, NY, for example, the Obama’s Advance Team got a strong head-start at the park where the President plans to speak today. For days, they’ve been covering security checks and overseeing local contractors: tent-putter-uppers, permit-givers, bleacher-builders, tech teams. With the Secret Service by their side, the Advance Men make sure that every piece is in its place when Air Force One touches down.

Like well-dressed roadies and tour managers, they set the scene for a seamless show. Rose petals optional.

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