How can a politician get more political capital?
Political capital is something politicians gain or lose. It can be in the form of tangible assets, such as money, or it can be intangible, bordering on ridiculous, such as people not liking the clothes they wear. Political capital wavers to and fro depending on politicians' reactions to certain events. Often newspapers, especially those those that follow politics quite closely, will headline an article saying that the candidate wasted his political capitol or that he did something solely for the political capital. Thus, political capital can be seen as negative or positive. Furthermore, journalists, as well as opponents, are quick to point out deficiencies by accusing politicians of unethical political capital.
In this discussion, however, we will address the ways in which politicians increase their political capital by answering the question "How can a politician get more political capital?". Let us examine five ways to gain political capital.
First, the most obvious way for politicians to muster more political capital is simply by being accessible and visible. Leaders who continually attend community functions, and who are regularly photographed in the media tend to appeal to the constituents. The old political expression still fits "good candidates should be seen kissing babies and shaking hands with the crowds". Not only do the leaders' names stay in the forefronts, but also, it appears as though they sympathize with the everyday people. They have not forgotten who put them into office. And, this type of popularity can lead to other political capital benefits, such as increased donations, more votes, and increased overall support.
Second, politicians who use political capital to their advantage at every turn are adept at the implementation of one technique. They speak to the people through camera lenses. An excellent example of this tactic is when giving a speech or when involved in a debate. Those candidates or leaders who look directly into the television cameras, as opposed to looking at their opponents, typically have more favorable results right after the debate. People feel like the candidates are talking to them personally, and the act endears the leaders to the constituents who are watching.
Third, politicians need to be seen as the people's candidates. In order to execute this effectively, supporters, those within the leaders' circles, or organizations, often hold positive events to gain the acceptance of others. For example, supporters of a proposed bill might solicit votes by giving out free items. If an organization, whose purpose is conservation of the environment and natural habitats, wants to effect change in policy, they support the candidate who will do the most good, and then, they solicit support by advocating to others the chosen candidate's platform. In fact, they solicit votes on behalf of the candidate. This an excellent opportunity for the candidate because political capital typically strengthens after these events.
Fourth, politicians may hire individuals or companies to make them over. Various elected officials seek to change their images. In doing so, they take the advice of the experts who identify weaknesses, so the candidates can improve those areas. And then, the experts monitor public response and opinion.
Fifth, politicians take advantage of crisis situations. Some call this "unethical political capital", while others call it "brilliant strategizing". Typically, what happens right after a tragic event, for example, the leaders start blaming people for the tragedy. In some cases, the blame may be valid, but in other cases, it is a way to gain political capital, by looking good to the public-at-large.
Without doubt, there are plenty of ways a politician get more political capital. Often, elected officials, especially the higher-up leaders in usa, have people and whole departments whose sole purpose is to augment their political capital, and to find inventive ways to maintain positive images with their constituents.