Here's a strategy: be real
There is no better incubator for the unreal than in politics, which is why my head turned so quickly when I saw Illinois Senator Barack Obama on the Daily Show. Check out the clip, it's a learning experience in the power of wit, personality and transparency.
Obama is about as transparent as a Senator can get in providing his impressions of his freshman year in the Senate. Even better, he utilizes his quick wit and likeability to control the guest opportunity and clearly wins with the audience and hard-to-impress host John Stewart.
How'd he do it? He was real. He smiled. He was funny and nice and all the things that your mother told you to be.