Monday, February 12, 2007

Edwards Made "Common Sense" Blunder with Marcotte

So Amanda Marcotte resigned from the John Edwards campaign, and this is actually relevant for anyone in communications.

As much as I feel that this country needs to head in an entirely different direction, this Marcotte/Edwards issue has nothing to do with right wing vs. left wing, conservative vs. liberal, or free speech.

It's only peripherally related to blogging.

It has a lot more to do with common sense.

When any employer makes a hire, that employer hires the whole package -- work history, yes, but increasingly (right or wrong) credit reports, health history, and more. In American politics, the picture becomes even fuzzier. In that arena, association is everything: association with every person you've encountered, with every decision you've made.

And when one is asked to vote for someone -- for President of the U.S., no less -- anyone with common sense not only looks at the candidate him/herself, but those decisions that he or she has made, directly or by association. That's called evaluating judgement, which is probably (in my humble view anyway) the single greatest criterion to consider when deciding on a candidate.

Edwards showed extraordinarily bad judgement. He made it ridiculously easy for his opponents, irrespective of the transient, hollow nature of their arguments.

As for Marcotte? She just proves the point that is endlessly (and patronizingly) taught with wagging fingers to the younger crowd these days: in a nutshell, be careful what you blog about, because it might hurt your chances for employment later.

(My bet? Marcotte survives this better than Edwards.)

So how does this relate to PR and corp comm? More often than not, corporate communications needs to have some input on a wide range of business decisions. That includes hiring. Sometimes it's not just about "work history" but about the horse to which you hitch your wagon.

Edwards' comm folks should've had some input here. Or maybe they did?

If so, it didn't show.

1 comment:

Jonathan Trenn said...

What's more is that this shows the perils that leading politicians now face while running for office. The "wingnut" right and the "moonbat" left demand orthodoxy without dissnent, essentially forcing candidates to pander to a relatively small but overzealous crowd whose views many in the 'mainstream' may find offensive.

Marcotte had written a piece equating the Holy Spirit to a penis. She had called Catholicism an "ancient mythology". There's literally millions of Catholics in this country - many of whom are in key swing states - who would find that grosslly offensive. Yet Edwards found himself in the unfortunate position of keeping her on board to please the leftwing blogosphere.

She's gone and good riddance.