Blaming the Campaign for the Employee

On Daily Kos, “Kagro X” talks about the problems of campaigns succumbing to pressure to fire netroots coordinators. I see no reason why the RPV is to be held responsible for everything Shaun Kenney has ever said, Sen. Webb for everything Lowell Feld has ever said, or George Allen for everything Jon Henke ever said. It’s lunacy. I certainly wouldn’t ever want those jobs, or anything like them.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

7 replies on “Blaming the Campaign for the Employee”

  1. I don’t think a party or candidate should be held responsible for everything their official spokespeople say. But it’s fair to ask them where they stand with regard to those spokespersons’ public, political comments.

    Hot, white and sticky, indeed.

  2. While I can sympathize with the sentiment you express, some of the posts by Edwards’s blogger were completely indefensible. Her vehement hostility to Christianity and recent insinuations that the Duke lacrosse players are guilty of something other than poor judgment (all evidence to the contrary) were particularly jarring to me.

    In the world we live in, Edwards didn’t have much choice but throw Marcotte under the bus.

  3. What I’ve come to see as particularly wrongheaded is the notion that a spokesman, while on the job, speaks for himself. Likewise the notion that a spokesman, while off the job, speaks for his employer. This is something that I only came around to a year or so ago. As a Democrat (heck, as an American) I find White House press conferences frustrating to watch, and have made something of a sport of them in the past. It was easy to blame Ari Fleischer or Scott McClellan for their refusal to answer questions, but the fact is that it’s in their job description.

    Surely there needs to be a morality clause, though, and that’s where it gets sticky, as you point out, Jon. A spokesman who, on his own time, volunteers for his local KKK chapter makes his employer look bad. But what to me is immoral might be totally reasonable to somebody else.

    Perhaps I just have a higher level of tolerance of spokesman than others. :)

  4. It’s interesting you bring up WH press secretaries. I was no fan of the Clinton administration, but I always liked Mike McCurry. Not only did he seem like an amiable fella, but I got the sense that he wouldn’t look into the camera and lie to the American people unless it were a matter of national security, in which case I’d hold him blameless. Couple those perceptions with the knowledge that he not only chafed under Starr’s overreaching but also Clinton’s reckless behavior and you have a guy who most Americans can relate to. He seemed less of a hack and more of a regular guy.

    Now contrast his style with the vulgarian rantings of Marcotte. In just a few of the posts I know of she managed to alienate huge swaths of the electorate. Her hiring was a “rookie mistake” better made now than down the road.

  5. I think that in each situation what a person writes should be taken into consideration as part of their resume. If a campaign isn’t going to at least scour the person’s blog and other comments before hiring them, how do they know who they’re hiring? It’s not such a complicated thing to do.

    Now, if they are hired after such a search is done and positions and writings are accounted for, then I think it’s fair to ask why that person was still hired in light of those beliefs. And if the organization can account for it, that is fine. In some cases the beliefs are moot and downright silly, in other cases they’re pretty damning. Campaigns should be held accoutable for their hiring practices in the light of that.

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