Real politicians don’t stalk Facebook

In the 1979 Canadian federal election, the Liberals thought they had a shot at defeating MP Fr. Andy Hogan. They nominated the popular mayor a Glace Bay and sent a young hotshot cabinet minister, one Jean Chretien, into the riding to campaign.

While shaking hands on Commercial Street, Chretien found himself in front of NDP headquarters. Without skipping a beat, he plunged inside and began working the room, greeting the mostly elderly women working the campaign office. In seconds he had them cooing and giggling and shaking his hand. He was utterly charming, and they were utterly charmed.

That’s what a real politician does. She seeks out those who don’t support her, and those who aren’t sure, and by force of personality, breaks through preconceptions and partisan resistance. Properly played, it’s not a game of us against them. It’s us persuading them.