Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Primo's own party criticizes him and he thinks, Really, guys? and - I love him but politics is not for people who expect niceness

To which I say, "You know this is what life would be like every single day if you became a legislator? That people in your own party will be pissed at you if you don't toe the party line every single time? That you will face criticism from within the party unless you do exactly what they tell you to do?"

What did Primo do to make The Legislator Who Compared Himself to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison upset?

(Sort of compared himself, but Primo's campaign manager nodded sagely when I told him the story of how Legislator wondered why I didn't help Primo campaign and how our Founding Fathers were not citizen legislators. CM said, "Yeah, he does that.")

Primo went to a teacher protest.

A union leader posted a photo on facebook about the protest and wrote he wondered why more legislators from the school district had not attended the protest.

Primo commented that he had wondered the same thing.

As soon as Primo told me that, I thought, "Oh no. That - was not wise."

But Primo does not read behind the lines and takes everything at face value and he says what he means and doesn't do passive-aggressive.

So he was just wondering.

That's all.

But - ouch.

"You - sort of - called them all out," I said.

He was bewildered. "But I just wondered! And then Legislator Who Is Not Thomas Jefferson got really mad and sent me a message and copied a lot of the other legislators."

Me: Ignore him. Campaign Manager says he's a punk and he's right.

Primo: But I wasn't trying to insult him!

Me: Yeah. I know. But - I can see why he might take it that way.

Primo: But I would never insult him like that! Not on purpose!

Me: Perhaps in the future, it might be a good idea not - to make that kind of comment. People can take it wrong.

Primo: Campaign Manager thinks I need to apologize.

Me: He's right. You didn't intentionally harm him, but man - there is nothing to make people as angry as being called on something when they are wrong. He knows he should have been there or otherwise supported it and he's stung because what you said was true. Still, you need to apologize.

Primo: I don't want to.

Me: I know.

Primo: And then he wrote that he doesn't like how I am campaigning.

Me: It's not his campaign.

Primo: He's making me mad.

Me: You need to ignore him.

Primo: I can't!

Me: You know that this is what it will be like all the time if you win, right? You know this is what politics is like. You're used to facts. Politics is not about facts. It's not about doing the right thing. It's about alliances and making deals and stabbing people in the back.

Primo: But - I want to do the right thing!

Me: Then maybe you should go back to engineering.


  1. Or be prepared to have people be mad at you and see what kind of support you will build among those who are not mad at you, and maybe be prepared to be a one-term legislator and do what you can in that time.

    Too many legislators do NOT do what they think is best because they are more concerned with getting re-elected than with doing what the genuinely feel is right.

    What Primo needs to find is the line that says "I understand why you/Sen X might feel that way, however I believe that because Y it is necessary for me to do Z, even though you/she/he won't/isn't."

    And also take some lessons in tact/statehood to better avoid accidentally pissing off people he's not actually intending to piss off. "I wonder why more [party people] weren't there today" "I believe in what all of you are fighting for here today!"

    Don't comment on what others are doing - let the union leader's question speak for itself. Especially when it is a written message which is more likely to be seen as a "crafted" message rather than an "off-the-cuff" response.

    Question: Is part of Primo's issue that he is entrenched in the idea of a group effort and has a hard time allowing himself to be Primary and speaking only *of* himself?

  2. And, don't forget that social media turns every passing thought into an issue, because everything, EVERYTHING bothers/offends/pisses off someone and they are gonna shoot right back as if Primo has aimed a cannon at them. It's not only a huge distraction, but also a huge cause of misunderstanding. If Primo really wants to use social media in ANY way at all, he needs to think thru every single word and only comment positively on things that he believes in and explain way, and perhaps negatively on things that he thinks will negatively affect his constituency. Otherwise is very dangerous to a politician.