5) Communication skills are completely irrelevant: Think of yourself as a placeholder. Your job is to do just enough to keep conservatives from hating your guts so badly that you end up like poor Arlen Specter, while not making the media angry at you. Keep in mind that nothing makes the media angrier than a Republican who's effective at anything. If you seem too charismatic or clever, liberals will perceive you as a threat who needs to be destroyed. That's why you're much better off mumbling boilerplate that people will forget 5 minutes after they've heard it.
6 Don't freak people out by discussing how bad things are really getting: You don't want to start freaking people out by suggesting the country could be so bankrupt we can't even afford to borrow the money for our entitlement programs in a decade, do you? What do you think Paul Krugman would say to that? If you start telling the public that the Obama Administration got people killed with Fast and Furious and Benghazi, how do you think the Washington Post will react? Besides, if things really go south, important people like you will be living on an island somewhere; so who cares what happens to the rest of the country?
7) Accept that conservatism can't win: Your job is not to win battles for conservatism, since that can't happen. Instead, your job is to stave off inevitable defeat long enough to enjoy the perks of being a career politician before you start making the real money as a lobbyist. The last thing you want to do is go out and actually start trying to move the country to the right. That's how you get MSNBC talking about you every day and Jesse Jackson calling you a racist.
8) Moderate is always better than conservative: Come on, how could any intelligent person back Pat Toomey over Arlen Specter, Marco Rubio over Charlie Crist, Rand Paul over Trey Grayson, and Ted Cruz over David Dewhurst? Granted, Rubio is coming around, but the rest of those guys have been rocking the boat since they got in the Senate. Why can't they be more like Charlie Crist, Lincoln Chaffee, and Arlen Specter? Sure, all of those guys left the GOP, but anyone who can make it in either party obviously appeals to a lot of voters.
9) It's fine to lie to your base: Just tell your supporters what they want to hear to get them to vote you into office and then keep your promises if it's convenient. Tell them you'll NEVER support amnesty and then lead the charge on it or say, "Read my lips: no new taxes," and then push through a massive tax increase. The media loves it when Republicans screw over their own supporters and besides, what are they going to do? Vote for the Democrat?
10) Don't make the mistake of talking about conservative principles when it matters: When you talk about conservative principles, mention them occasionally, quietly, as if they're something your base is forcing you to do. Don't ever make a big deal over it, even if your opponent is taking wildly unpopular liberal positions. Sure, the American public may ferociously oppose partial birth abortion and refusing to deport illegal aliens who've committed serious crimes, but if you make an issue of it, the media will think you're one of THOSE Republicans. You know, the ones that actually believe in things. Better to just mumble some platitudes about your commitment to life and the rule of law as you get back to your talking points about the corporate tax rate.