Here’s an important note to all political campaign candidates, whether you are running in a small local election or a national election: before you make comments that you don’t want voters and the media to hear, always check and make sure that your microphone is off first. A recent story from the UK about Prime Minister Gordon Brown getting caught calling one voter a “bigot” is just the latest example of why you need to be constantly aware of whether you’re being recorded or not on the campaign trail.
Of course, most candidates who are running in smaller local elections will never have to worry about this kind of thing, but it’s still good to practice watching what you say if you want to have any sort of career in politics. The further you go as a politician, the more your opposition and members of the media will try to catch you saying something politically damaging.
Getting caught saying something you didn’t intend people to hear isn’t always a career-destroyer, but is can lead to a lot of embarrassment, backtracking and apologizing. It’s better to try and follow the rule that our mothers taught us: if you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything at all. At least until you are back behind closed doors!