“All politics is local” is a popular refrain we hear at every election time and sometimes in-between. So what can we learn from this most recent primary week that can help us in our everyday lives?
- Own Your Resume-
This season brought up a new question, eventually addressed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. How long do you need to be in politics in order to be a “career politician”? Campaign ads saw a 15 year public official label a 30 year elected official as a career politician. So how long to you need to be in politics in order to be a “career politician”? Mike DeWine chose to be in the public domain for forty years. He needs to own this fact. Not defend it or argue it or deny it. We don’t talk about a surgeon’s thirty year career as a negative.
- Own Your Weaknesses as Much as Your Strengths
Candidate Rob Cordray has an impressive resume. However, he is not a charismatic candidate. One could say he is a drab and lifeless candidate. He needs to own his “nerdiness”, actually say in debates and stumping for votes, that he is not the most exciting candidate but he will do a great job once in office. What we learn is that we are stronger when we identify and can talk about our weaknesses as easily as our strengths.
- Hard Work Pays Off
TV commercials, yard signs, email blasts, and robo calls all have a place in the election process. They don’t take the place of person-to-person, belly-to-belly, knock-on-doors-in-person press the flesh campaigning. Kind of like in life, sending an email to get business is not the same as getting yourself in front of real live people.
- Put Blinders On and Run
Most candidates can’t afford polls to see how they are doing. So the most beneficial strategy is to assume you are behind and run like hell. Not all candidates act that way. Even so called frontrunners need to run like hell. The lesson we learn is that we need to keep our foot on the accelerator at all times.
- Identify Upside Down
Some things in a campaign just seem upside down. Assumptions about people: this group votes this way, this group will never vote that way. You the candidate should do this or never do that. Just as in life, you need to know what is upside down for you and when upside down is good.