Political campaign tip Kanye, probably best not to announce your 2020 Presidential bid live on stage at the VMA’s - this guy!
However, if you are deciding to run for office it probably does cross your mind at least once how you will announce your candidacy. Your ego goes into overdrive and before you know it you're the front-runner to win the GOP nomination for the 2016 US Presidency.
I have never run for office but it has crossed my mind of late why people would want to. Aside from the obvious 'change the world', 'help others', 'make millions', ( well probably not millions but you know the allure of power and all that). What pushes people to make this pretty big decision? Is there some kind of entitlement involved to think you are fit to represent a bunch of people?
It’s a double-edged sword in one sense, you are trying to be a beacon, a point of contact between a certain selection of the population and potential change, but why do you think you deserve that responsibility. Politics is first and foremost a battle to get elected, to be chosen and you must be confident enough to put yourself in that position. This is the first question you must ask yourself when deciding to run, am I the right person for the job?
So, yes, it’s a real job, time-consuming, labour intensive and you are accountable to people - hundreds, possibly thousands, worse again, millions. Sound appealing yet?
You have to respect anyone who offers themselves up as a sacrifice in the name of politics, so if you are thinking of running, ask yourself these simple questions first:
How are you funding this?
Tell me this, (in your mother’s voice) how do you plan on paying for all this?
Some may get swept up in the idealism of politics, but be aware, it is a tough grind. Most politicians start at the bottom rung of the ladder where wages aren't spectacular and it takes years of work to earn that respect that many of the country's top leaders have amassed, probably why we don't see many 21-year-olds running political parties. Campaigning and staff all cost. Initially, unless you have a following who can all commit to donating to your campaign, where exactly are you going?
If you can't convince your friends and family to contribute, how will you convince others. Make no mistake, money talks.
Got skeletons? Be prepared to share those
Now we are not only talking time served, we are talking about less sinister stuff, the silly crap you pull in college, those tweets you posted when you were drunk and those embarrassing photos you shared on Facebook.
Everything can be misconstrued in today's news, social media has made it virtually impossible to hide anything - yes David Cameron we are looking at you, remember #PigGate?
Let's be brutally honest for a second, if you haven't got a thick skin, you won't survive the media furore when that 'photo' leaks, because there is always a 'photo'.
Good candidates these days like to get out ahead of their past, they will own up to their mistakes, pave their way as a 'new and changed' person. It is possible to spin almost anything into a positive if you believe that fixers like Olivia Pope (another Scandal reference, sorry) exist.
Can you win, better yet, can you lose?
Ok, your name is on the ballot so a part of you at least thinks you can win. Now think of the other, less desirable outcome, losing. Most people don't think of the negative when out on the campaign trail, but it is something you have to consider.
Sometimes you can tell weeks out from an election that you won't win so it's best to have your losing face practised. Now we don't say this to disparage you, most politicians cite losing as a great learning curve and I agree, I even wrote about here.
What I am trying to say is that if you aren't prepared to lose then don't enter because, like the Hunger Games*, there can be only one winner!
*I admit not the best example.