Dear candidates, would be candidates, elected officials and campaign staff,

I love you, but some of you have forgotten some very basic social constructs. A couple of you have been spotted engaging in what I’d term less than graceful behavior.

Campaign season is now a 12 month a year spectator sport, referees are self appointed, someone is always running & raising, social media is unforgiving, and the political world is much smaller than you can even imagine. Next year is this year, and this year was already crazy!

I offer these suggestions, take them, leave them, but consider this the public square and you’ve been told.

Please and Thank You are still expected. Your mothers, grannies and aunties taught you better than a whole slew of you are acting. Don’t shame those gals by forgetting you were raised right. If you want something; learn to ask nicely and be grateful. I can’t believe I have to type this, but just because you are a candidate doesn’t mean you are entitled to shit.

Attempt to remember that not every where you go is it about you.

I know.

Hard.

Organizations and groups were functioning long before you decided to run and fun fact: they don’t have to let you speak, nor are they stoked that you’ve never once graced any of their meetings but now you expect them to wave membership dues and event donations for every freaking staffer you turn up with. Events are not being planned for you to use as a back drop with all their members as props. No, you ain’t fooling anyone with those “selfies”. If the event has a cost associated, please at least offer to pay. The organizers might elect to decline, but at least cough up a sincere offer of a donation.

Arrive on time, check in at the appropriate table, be nice to the volunteers, pay the couple bucks, introduce yourself to the organizers. The folks you treat badly inside of 4 minutes of your diva like arrival might be that groups’ biggest donor, or a former board member who will tell all their friends about how you behaved. Doors they would open for you will be sealed like Gringott’s vault.

Review carefully all invitations to events featuring speakers that you want to hear or learn from, by all means consider attending. BUT, think long and hard about bringing a squad of campaign t-shirt wearing staff and a camera crew. This is not your event, no one paid to see you. Instead, consider a call to the organizers ahead of the event, would it be ok if you attended as candidate. Some groups have legal and statutory reasons to turn candidates down- a pleasant no, is still a no.

If the event is a public “open to all” meeting, again-let the organizers know you are coming. They have a “run of show” and need to know how many of your kind to expect and if they can accommodate all of you.  Do not always expect them to carve out time for you to speak. If they offer you a few minutes graciously accept and then be BRIEF!

Moving on.

For the sake of argument, lets say everyone is happy to see you, take pictures with you, tweet our your campaign stump speech and they didn’t even ask you to pay! How wonderful, yippee! But aren’t you forgetting something?

Did you thank them?

Of course you totally meant to thank them, but the campaign and the call time and the door knocking -you forgot. Or, did you?

A prompt sincere Thank You is long remembered and much appreciated. A box of Thank You cards is literally a couple bucks at Target. In fact you can write 20 of them in advance! Here’s a suggestion:

Dear blah blah,

Thank you for graciously letting me to speak at your terrific event the other day. I am very grateful to you and the organizing committee for allowing me to share my vision for a more just and prosperous Georgia.

I enjoyed meeting your membership, the work you do is so important and vital to our community.

If  I can be of any service to you, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Very sincerely yours,

Not your usual bonehead running for office

Heck you can get a volunteer to write the address, stamp and mail the envelope.

Imperious and entitled reputations are hard to shake.

Don’t earn one.

 

 

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