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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Men in politics: beard or no beard?

Always shave it all off.

As this graphic illustrates, facial hair too easily denotes questions as to your trustworthiness.

It's also of note that the last president with facial hair was Taft, whose presidency ended nearly a century ago.

Buy the book "Getting a Job in Politics, and Keeping it" by Ben Wetmore, here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Departing the campaign en masse

When there's a problem on a campaign, it's tempting to encourage others to agree with you and get them to leave. Recently, 16 senior aides to Newt Gingrich departed his campaign as a team. This is a bad thing. It looks bad to the candidate of course, but it also looks bad to the team.

There are usually two primary reasons people do these kind of collective walk-outs:
1. They want to send a message to the candidate
2. They want to send a message to donors and outside supporters

Both are bad reasons. Both signal that your pride overrides the interest of the campaign. In the book you'll see that I don't take a line that says you should always suffer for "the cause", but this is the opposite extreme. You shouldn't 'send a message' to anyone through a resignation. A resignation is already an indication that things aren't working. A resignation is a sign to anyone with common sense that there are problems. You don't need to amplify that point by encouraging others to quit with you, and certainly not by going to the press.

Be classy when you leave an organization or campaign. At one time you believed in the cause or candidate. Find a respectful way to exit gracefully and it'll be better for everyone in the long term. Sending a message in this way makes you look disloyal. It can make sense at the time, but it's usually a bad choice.