Saturday, October 25, 2008

In Search of Charismatic Politicians

Charismatic politicians are far and few between, because many of them have had prior successes in other professions requiring little to no charisma. The feeling being, "Charisma didn't get me here, so I don't need it." Interesting enough, charisma would have gotten them farther. I recently went to a fundraiser for an incumbent who could have used a dosage of charisma. Attendees were there to open up their wallets and purses for his campaign. What better way to jump start a campaign than to arouse the imagination of followers to a cause bigger than themselves. He fell flat! When he finished his comments, I approached him suggesting that I could help him engage future audiences to increase their contributions. Like many politicians, he took offense to the suggestion. Many politicians see themselves as "already" being charismatic enough. The roar of the crowd blinds them to reality. Because someone is excited by seeing a local celebrity/politician doesn't mean they are moved by your mission. Fortunately, the emergence of the populous demanding that politicians be engaging will require future candidates to enhance their charisma quotient. The Obama campaign has raised the bar on what politicians will need to survive in the future.

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