I had an interesting observation the other night while I was doing some research to prepare to head out to vote on Tuesday. I was going through the AnnArbor.com voter guide — reading up on the different candidates for the various offices. I ran into the bio for one gentleman where, in response to every personal question, he responded with “WDYTTIR” or “Why do you think this is relevant?” The point he was trying to make was that it was more important that he have good ideas and the ability to carry them out than whether he was married and had kids.

I can understand his point of view, but at the same time, if he carried out his campaign with this attitude, I’ll be supremely surprised if he is elected.

Listen, politics, almost more than any other profession, is all about networking. It’s who you know and who knows you that gets you nominated, it’s the people who feel connected to you who get you elected, and it’s the connections you make in the “halls of power” that allow you to get things done. If people don’t like you or even don’t know you, you are pretty much doomed to failure.

So, this guy obviously felt pretty strongly about maintaining his private life. Unfortunately, he forgot that unless you let people know who you are and what’s important to you on a personal level, they aren’t going to feel like they can know and trust you. They won’t want you to lead a neighborhood bakesale, let alone run some aspect of the government upon which they depend.

Photo credit: Denise Cross