If you’re a new candidate running a local election campaign for office, you might be worried about making mistakes or getting laughed at for unintended funny gaffes. Well, don’t be. The occasional misspoken word, accident or screw-up is inevitable when you’re running for office, and you need to learn to take mistakes in stride. A simple gaffe can be made much worse by over-correcting, and it’s often best to just apologize for the mistake, ignore the attention it gets, and concentrate on your campaign plan and important issues.
A blog called Seasons of Tumult and Discord has a great post today entitled Political Kabuki Theatre that provides a fun overview of the most famous presidential political campaign gaffes, mistakes and missteps from candidates. The funny, unintended campaign screw-ups of Muskie, Nixon, Carter, Dukakis and Dean are all covered in detail, and it’s a good study for anyone who is thinking about running for office. I love this quote from the post:
“I suppose calling our political campaign season Kabuki Theater is a bit of an insult to that Japanese Cultural tradition. Nonetheless, like the Japanese version, ours is also a highly stylized dance-drama with lots of makeup. The kanji characters for Kakuki can be translated as sing, dance, skill, but an alternate translation could also be bizarre theater. Somewhat apropos, I think.”
That’s some good writing!
Remember: you’re going to make mistakes on the political campaign trail, and there’s no way to avoid all of them. But even mess-ups that seem to be career killers can be overcome by tenacious politicians who are willing to learn from their mistakes and constantly improve their campaign strategies.