By Michael Scherer
August 20, 2015

There are some things you just can’t do in politics, not at the presidential level, anyway.

This is a game like any other, with rules honed over decades by the pros in blue blazers clutching focus-group results: Be likable. Don’t make enemies. Respect the party elders. Avoid funny hats. And never wear white bucks or French cuffs to the Iowa State Fair…

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This appears in the August 31, 2015 issue of TIME.

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