Nugget of Political Wisdom
Writing Tip: if you have a little nugget of information that you would like people to know, hide it in a story about politicians who are: (A) unable to find amateurs to sleep with; (B) sneaking off to Argentina for a tryst with the mistress while pretending to be hiking the Appalachian Trail; or (C) tweeting pictures of their unit throughout the land.
For still better nugget finding, assure that the three gentlemen described above are seeking elective office and redemption though not necessarily in that order.
Meet Mr. (A). Eliot Spitzer is running for New York City Comptroller, a race in which one of his opponents is Kristin Davis, a former madam linked to his prior indiscretions.
Mr. (B) has a new title: Congressman Mark Sanford of South Carolina. For him, election seems to have preceded redemption.
Mr. (C) is, of course, Anthony Weiner, a “resigned” Congressman who now wishes to apply his technological skills to being Mayor of New York City.
This threesome (sorry, I couldn’t resist) could well be the savior of print journalism.
Frank Bruni of the New York Times wrote in “Sex and the Sorriest Pols”
“‘Here We Ho Again!’ trumpeted The New York Post. If this doesn’t save the tabloids, nothing will.”
He writes of Spitzer and Weiner “Both men fell as spectacularly as they did not because they got caught with their pants down but because none of their colleagues liked them much even with their pants up.”
Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post makes an interesting point in “Eliot Spitzer looks for political redemption in New York City”
“One thing Spitzer and Weiner have in common: Neither man’s reemergence has been welcomed by New York’s Democratic establishment.”
“‘The question with both Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer is, what have they done to earn this second chance?’ said another mayoral candidate, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. ‘I don’t think we see all that much from either of these men that would put them in a position where they would have earned a second chance — redeemed themselves from their selfish behavior and earned a second chance by New York’s voters.’”
Remember the nugget? This comes from ” Why sex-scarred pols keep coming back for more” written by John F. Harris and Alexander Burns in Politico.
There is a whole, entire profession called political psychology. Who knew? And why aren’t there more of them? This should be a huge growth industry.
“Stanley Renshon, a professor at CUNY’s Lehman College who has studied the mental predilections of the politically powerful, said ‘the drive for a redemptive comeback ties into the larger narcissism of these politicians.’”
“‘What people have done by forcing them to resign, is forcing them to admit publicly that they weren’t all they thought they were, and now the answer to that particular bump in the road is, Well, if you reelect me, I’ll be able to put that behind me somewhat,’ Renshon said.”
“It is the latest (arguably quite redundant) evidence of a more fundamental truth about politics: The instinct that leads many people obsessively to pursue public approval and power through winning elections is closely linked to the instinct that leads many of these same people (and let’s face it, they are all men) to sexual excess and disaster.”
“And this in turn is the same brass-balls instinct that compels many of these same politicians to return to the arena even after torching their careers with needy, narcissistic behavior, such as visiting hookers as governor or sharing pictures of one’s private parts on social media as a high-profile member of Congress.”
Could it be that we are overly focused on the ones who get caught while we should be paying attention to the others who are just like them?
America needs more Stanley Renshons.