Random thoughts on a political debate

The Texas Republican gubernatorial debate just finished, and I was able to catch the end at http://www.txdebates.org. If you missed it, you can watch the entire video there.

I also followed the Twitter conversation (via #txgovdebate), and found it interesting and amusing. One thing worth noting is how much attention the candidates’ styles received. Scripted, stiff, ridiculous smiling and nodding, dirty looks, clownishness, fighting, postive/negative….the complaints (and sometimes compliments) went on and on.

Two things I take away from this: in the first place, it takes a lot of humility to be a politican. Candidates for office have to be willing to hear themselves criticised mercilessly both by helpful supporters and by detractors. If you can’t take it, don’t run.

Secondly, there are as many opinions on how a candidate should conduct himself as there are people. Who defines what “gubernatorial behavior” is? And whereas some people like confrontation, others think it is “shameful fighting and bickering.” If you’re not careful, you can let helpful staffers and managers completely dissect your personality for this event or that, and give you a totally new personality “that won’t turn voters off.” Only how will you know what everyone will like? Next thing you know, they’re complaining that you’re “fake and scripted.”

Note to self: If you ever run for office, do it for the right reason and just be yourself.

3 Responses to “Random thoughts on a political debate”

  1. I wish that the substance had gotten more attention, but no surprise here.

    Well-written post, BTW 🙂 Stylish and to the point!

  2. What did you think about Medina?

  3. Thanks, Jonathon! And thanks for all your writing advice. 🙂

    Thomas, I only caught the tail end of the debate, so I can’t really comment on anything more than her demeanor. She seemed awkward and ill-at-ease, like she was not used to that type of setting. That’s just how she struck me.