Thursday, November 7, 2013

What other politicians can learn from Rob Ford's crash & burn

At this point there can't be much left of Ford's political career, at least in the short-term. Sure, he might be able to pull off a Marion Barry and come back from the edge to haunt us for many years down the road, but for now he's finished.

So where did it all go wrong?

In the first place, if you've got a high political profile and like to "party", if that's what it is, then you better be damned sure there's a foolproof firewall between you and the public. Hire a bunch of tee-totalling Mormons to run interference. Don't surround yourself with drug-dealers and petty criminals, who see you as their meal ticket no matter how far back your history in the 'hood goes. Ford is hardly the first politician to smoke crack or get drunk, but mostly they are savvy enough to keep it off the front page.

Secondly, don't pick fights with major media. Ford made his contempt for the media more than obvious from the beginning of his mayoralty campaign. They returned the favour. More than a few reporters see bringing down Ford as their ticket to the big-time, or at least a paying job.

Finally, remember that the public loves fallible politicians but they hate liars. If unsavoury shit leaks out, and it's true, and you know it's true, don't deny it. By denying it you look bad now and worse later. 'Fess up right away and court the sympathy bounce.

If all else fails, here's an even better strategy; don't be such an asshole in the first place!

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