“Too big for your britches
In the political world,
getting too big for your britches is something that isn’t
too unusual. However, that usually immediately follows being
elected. The big head is often followed by strutting your
stuff and finally by getting too big for your britches.
In most cases this is
short-lived when the newly elected official finds out they
can’t do any of the things they promised to do because they
are big headed, strutting their stuff and acting too big for
their britches. So, they dust off their damaged ego and
start playing “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”
with their fellow elected officials and that seems to work
out quite well.
Sometimes, along comes a
young, aggressive, eager political hopeful who immediately
gets the “too big for your britches syndrome” and I believe
that is what happened to Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace when
he jumped the starting gate for the Republican run for the
District 22 congressional seat. Now David is a really nice
and personable person, but he managed in a short span of
less than a week to alienate a lot of his fellow Republicans
and he didn’t do too well with the media either.
Almost simultaneously with
the announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court would not hear
the Republican’s appeal and the announcement by former
Congressman Tom DeLay that he would seek to have his name
removed from the ballot and would definitely not run for the
office, David quits answering his phone and some stranger
from Austin calls saying he is returning David’s phone calls
as a representative of his PR firm. What?
Two days before you could
call and hear a familiar, friendly voice that was willing to
talk issues or politics without a qualm. Fifteen minutes
after officially becoming a write-in candidate, you can’t
touch him with a 10-foot pole. That is the first symptom of
getting too big for your britches.
So, a whole lot of
Republicans from three other counties are claiming David is
rubbing their noses in the selection process, the media is
clamoring to find out if he is going to run despite being
the “un-chosen” one of the party and David holds an official
press conference with family and patriotism all around. Now
there is nothing wrong with press conferences, other than
most of them are a whole lot like mandatory staff meetings
at the office.
They take up a whole lot
of time saying what could have been said in five minutes on
the phone. So, reporters are not real keen on official press
conferences. Anyhow, one of our reporters had interviewed
David and he was still toying with the idea of staying in
the race but when he was contacted just before deadline, he
wouldn’t disclose what he was going to announce in an hour
at a press conference.
So, I go to the press
conference and he is nice enough to provide a “news
packet”—after we all took notes for 20 minutes; then when I
get back to my computer, I sit down with the notes and the
prepared packet to do the story for the paper. I completed
the task, which has now taken two hours, including drive
time, and sent it to the editor.
Immediately after I went
“click” on the send button, an incoming e-mail arrives from
none other than David with... you guessed it, the
information from the earlier news conference attached.
Now that really can hack a
reporter off to no end. Heck, I could have just cut and
pasted the info and have been done with it. I won’t even
mention the cost of gas getting to the press conference,
that wasn’t his fault.
So, since David is
seriously considering a run for congress sometime in the
future, may I suggest a sure cure for “too big for your
britches?” First get elected to the position.
However, while running for
the office you are seeking, have press conferences only when
you can’t click and send to the masses in seconds, and first
of all answer your darn phone. Do not hire a public
relations firm to do your talking.
People like officials who
are reachable, in touch, and mingle with the masses.