Keep it simple, stupid.

If you’re key messages won’t fit on the back of a business card, then you aren’t focused enough on the point you’d like to make.

Maybe that is why the proposed European Union constitution went down in flames in France. It turns out the thing runs 448 pages.

French politicos who were trying to win passage sent a copy to every French voter. (We mail stuff that big all the time in the U.S. — but they are filled with pictures and smell like perfume.)

Some of the EU Proponents thought it was a bad idea to send out that many copies. They were right. But they were also wrong to insult the electorate.

One crucial mistake was to send out the entire three-part, 448-article document to every French voter, said Mr Giscard.

Over the phone he had warned Mr Chirac already in March: “I said, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it’”.

It is not possible for anyone to understand the full text“.

Even if you were going to read the thing, do you think you’d be sympathetic to the cause of someone who smacks of that much elitism?

The first mistake was tactical. The second mistake was insensitive, and will ultimately be harder to overcome.