This month we’re sharing our responses to letters we’ve received in recent months asking for our opinion on a variety of issues, a feature which we call “Hey EMS!” Here are a few more of those letters, along with our comments…
Do you guys think someone can be too old to run for office?
-Bernie S., Vermont and Joe B., Delaware
Back when Jerry Seinfeld was criticized for dating an 18-year-old woman, he responded with something like “She’s a person, not an age!” The point is, it doesn’t really matter whether we think you’re too old or too young, gentlemen. If people are moved by your messages and think your ideas are exciting, they’ll get behind you. if your manner seems stodgy and unremarkable, then they won’t. You both have demonstrated that you know how to connect with people and win them over based on your ideas and your personalities, so focus on those abilities. And if that doesn’t do the trick, you can try what your late friend John McCain did when he ran for president: he went on SNL and made fun of how old he was. He didn’t win the election, but he was funny!
I heard you guys thought my gestures looked unnatural. You’re wrong—they’re totally natural. I clearly bring a breath of fresh air to this campaign, so why are you dissin’ me?
-Beto O., El Paso
We weren’t trying to criticize you in the blog piece we wrote last month. A better word would be critique. But we WERE trying to point out that perception is everything these days, and it doesn’t matter whether your gestures are natural—they distract your audience and affect your ability to communicate. We think you have a better, more approachable style somewhere inside you that may work better on the campaign trail. If not, you’ll need to learn—and PRACTICE—another way to demonstrate your commitment and passion. That doesn’t make you a bad guy or a bad candidate—just someone who could use a little coaching, like most of us.
Most people still don’t know who I am yet. How do I break through?
-Andrew Y., New York
We’re stumped on this one. Who are you again?
Everyone says that the key to running for President is raising money for the campaign. So how can I do a better job of pulling in the bucks?
-Julian C., San Antonio, TX
That’s a tough one, but every candidate these days knows how tough it is to win elections without campaign contributions. The question is, what do candidates do that move people to support them financially? It’s important that you craft an authentic message you believe will appeal to a core group of supporters—that will excite, inspire and move people to open up their checkbooks. At your rallies and events, how do you want your audience to remember you, and will your approach help or hinder that? What kinds of things are you saying that cause people to get up and cheer for you? What’s your vision for the job you can do in the White House, and are you communicating it with the right amount of detail? These are some of the questions we’d help you answer, Mr. Secretary, if you were our client.
Don’t you guys ever want to talk baseball anymore?
Eloy J., South Side of Chicago
We’ll talk baseball anytime, anywhere, with anyone who wants to, E. Don’t worry—there’s a long season ahead. Just keep making the plays and we’ll get back to you.