Thursday, September 13, 2007

News flash: Politicians want to be liked!

The Psychology of Politicians

At some point not all that long ago I was chatting with a member of Congress who was a bit peeved because bloggers were hostile to the member during the campaign. I was surprised by this, because while lefty bloggers certainly can be hostile to Democratic politicians, I didn't remember that they had been hostile to this one. I said as much, and the member backed off and said that the discontent existed because the campaign had gotten relatively little attention from bloggers, which was true. The conversation finished with a quote something like, "Well you know, politicians. We just want to be liked."

I was taken aback by that because it wasn't really something that had ever occurred to me before. Sure we all want to be liked, but it hadn't really occurred to me that this was a key motivator of politicians. I doubt it is for all, but I suppose it is for some.
I'd propose that it is true for 90%. I'd further propose that is true for 99% of Democratic politicians. Dick Cheney doesn't give a flying fuck if he's liked by anyone. Bill Clinton wants nothing more than to be liked by everyone.