The ‘jelly’ to politics’ ‘peanut butter’ is without a doubt,
scandal; they go together hand-in-hand. It seems you can’t have one without the other. From John Edwards’ love-baby, to Bill Clinton’s “I did not have relations with that woman,” Anthony Weiner’s sexually-charged social media, to the more recent Herman Cain allegations of sexual harassment, politics and Capitol hill know scandal.
The first step each of these political figures made when
their scandals broke was to deny any involvement. John Edwards said “that’s not my baby,” Bill Clinton said “no way,” Anthony Weiner said the pictures were not him, and currently Herman Cain is claiming the allegations are smear campaign created by his opponents. But, is denying involvement the best move? What ever happened to honesty is the best policy? Is this the way political figures should market themselves and market the United States?
It’s tough when public figures behave badly for they are scrutinized more than the average Joe. One celebrity feeling the impact of his actions is Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In case you missed the story, he recently admitted to his wife, Maria Shriver and his entire family, that ten years ago he fathered a love child with the maid.
Being a former celebrity turned politician Arnold
understands the importance of “spin” and “damage control.” These are two words
that needed to act upon now more than ever, in addition to hiring a top-notch
crisis management PR firm.
This is not the first time a celebrity or politician has
fathered a love child, or had a sexual harassment suit filed on them and it
won’t be the last. In time, Arnold will gain back his stature as well as his
credibility and integrity like Clinton has over the years, Weiner will learn
that social media is not a toy to mess with; in all situations time heals all
wounds. If political leaders took this much energy to trot around the scandals, and not just come clean when a true incident arises and own up to it, then there would be no need for PR managers to enforce crisis control and society would have more trust in these leaders we elected. Just like peanut butter and jelly, these scandals are sticky, messy, and oh so good to read about, but it is how these leaders will market themselves in the future to clean up their muddy messes. Time
will tell, until then another scandal will arise.
— Michela Noreski, Jordan Hill, Ashley Nelson