Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How much for a gallon of milk...gas...OJ?

When I worked on a presidential campaign, one of my duties was to put together a memo for the candidate whenever he came to the state. The memo would include the price of a gallon of milk, bread, and a gallon of gas. Why did my candidate need this information? Because if he didn't know the price of these things when asked by the media, he'd be accused of being "out of touch" with the concerns of average Americans.

Well, it's begun again in this political season:

Symbolism is powerful in politics: Gerald Ford munching into a tamale without taking off the husk, George HW Bush in awe of a grocer scanner, Mike Dukakis in the tank. But, let's be real here: wouldn't you rather have your candidate concerned with knowing what's going in Iraq or Afghanistan than whether they pump their own gas?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how important it is for a candidate to know local pricings, if he does and can use it then it might show "genuine concern." I wouldn't expect them to be quizzed on this, nor would I be impressed overly if one candidate knew it and the other didn't. While they might make speeches directly to groups in certain states to help gain their favor I don't think anyone can honestly believe that if elected a President directs policy on a state by state basis on the micro level that knowing this data would help do. I think there might be some of our own state representatives that don't know these figures, and that concerns me far more. :-)