10 things I’ve learned over my past 10 years in office
1. Honey badger dont care: If you want to win, you have To be willing to work harder than your opponents. Cant depend on anyone else. Campaign staff, Volunteers will only work as hard as the candidate is willing to work
2. Show me the money: Gotta like to raise money. Money makes the world go round: mailers, tv ads, billboards, staff, help other candidates, support causes and on my case maintain an active office outreach program
3. Press can be a friend or foe. On BOS, I was scared of press so didn’t talk to them and so I basically didn’t get much press or negative press. Learned to take control of my image by hiring press person, issuing press releases, controlled Facebook, tweet, update two websites and update Wikipedia (it is where people go)
4. Contacts Maintain your own database. Collect cards and I input myself and later..Tag all cards so I can better target emails. Don’t let your campaign people take your database after your election.
5. Respect. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. I don’t like to be yelled at or bullied so I don’t. I treat my staff like my family. They ultimately can also help you and your reputation or hurt it. Encourage them to learn and grow and be happy when they get a better job or go to law school vs angry at them for leaving. I groom them all to take my job if theyre willing and able.
6. Politics is about compromising. If it’s gotta be your way or the highway, never make it. Develop your own set of morals and standards. For example: loyalty, remember who brought you to the dance and trust but verify Because people are motivated by different things
7. Get over feeling guilty all the time I have tried to live by society’s expectations for example getting married my first time, trying to find balance, see my family and friends more but ultimately public service is a calling (similar to being a minister, nurse, teacher). To do this job well, you need to sacrifice your personal life to the public. I’m a giver and have a hard time saying NO to people so I do feel guilty lots of times
8. You will not always be loved if you’re truly trying to make meaningful changes. There will always be someone or group mad at you. I will take on controversial issues only If I feel I can articulate it in plain English and usually if I have a personal experience so I can defend my position. I also like to meet with everyone, different groups and take on diverse issues to inoculate myself to one or two groups trying to take me out. I try not to be 100% predictable, nor put all my eggs in one basket.
9 Find a supportive spouse or partner. It’s tough to be successful if you have a jealous spouse and/or someone who doesn’t get why you’re in politics. The time commitment will often times supersede the family/personal time. My first marriage was for my parents and my second one is for me. Never thought I’d find a soul mate who gets it, likes it, and gets me.
10. Be a team player. Find mentors. Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did but backwards and in high heels. That sums up politics for women. The quicker you accept that we have to work harder and smarter, and find good mentors who are men normally until we have more women in higher places. In the meantime, we need to work within the system and get things done through hard work vs the old boys network.