Reading the Towery column referenced below reminded me of something I wrote after a particularly disappointing day covering the state legislature this year.
Being that it's campaign season in Macon, and since it's been a slow day, I thought I'd post it:
I've been covering politics for 7 years and I tried to think the other night how many politicians I've met that I can describe as statesmen.
It's a pretty short list. And I had to expand the definition pretty liberally. But then I'm naive and have high expectations. And I won't complain if you add presumptious.
So my advice to politicians:
Stop caring about who gets the credit for things that go right. Things are supposed to go right.
Stop playing political games. Don't worry about gamesmanship, worry about statesmanship.
Remember that it's the taxpayer's money. Just because you decided how to spend it doesn't mean you did anything great.
Stop thinking about yourself in general.
Pattern yourself after true heroes.
Find that often narrow ground between sticking to your principles and compromise. And when a compromise is wrong, say so.
As a matter of fact, tell the truth all the time. Or hold your tongue.
Admit when you are wrong.
When you do the right thing, do the right thing. Don't do the right thing because it's going to be on T.V.
Don't be too impressed with yourself. Don't run your opponents or your critics down. Don't do things that feel wrong.
Return phone calls and value other people's time over your own.
Find things that are wrong and boldly try to change them.
Don't be afraid to fall on your face once in a while. Remind us all that people can pick themselves up.
Learn when to be discreet and when to yell at the top of your lungs.
Do one great thing in your life.
Treat the people who work for you well.
Remember the Bible: Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are the pure in heart. Blessed are the peacemakers.