Let's Face It, Kids Win Presidential Votes

chelsea clintonChelsea Clinton campaigning for her mom in 2008When I play, I play to win.  If I were running for president I would certainly bring my children along with me so that I could maximize spending time with my family and win as many votes as possible. Campaigning with your children is a great way to appeal to a larger group of Americans and ultimately win votes. I’m not suggesting that political platforms aren't important. Instead, I think it's clear that a candidate's family life and portrait can swing some votes in their favor.  

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Americans want a President that they can relate to and one that stands for family values. A man that has a “good wife,” two-and-a half children, and a dog,  is the picture of the perfect American family. I don’t think this perception is much different for women.  In fact, I think that for many Americans, a female political candidate pictured with her family is the symbol of a woman balancing work-and motherhood- something many women want to accomplish. There were  countless times we saw Sarah Palin in her kitchen with her family and let’s not forget the entire family’s appearance during the Republican National Convention. I’m sure these images were as much political strategy as convenience. When Americans decide which candidate will get their vote, they are also deciding who our First Family will be. 

Additionally, whether the candidate likes it or not, his or her children will be in the public spotlight. We knew every step the Bush Twins took, when Chelsea Clinton got her braces off, and what type of dog Sasha and Malia were getting. I would prefer to embrace being in the spotlight with my family rather than try to avoid it.

And let’s face it, cuteness sells. Cute, young kids sell even more. My kids  aren't old enough to help spread my political messages for me by campaigning on my behalf like Chelsea Clinton did for her mom. Chelsea traveled to over 100 college campuses to help her mom get some extra votes. My kids are also too young to use social media to appeal to another audience like Jon Huntsman’s three daughters have.  At last check, the Huntsman sisters had almost 19,000 Twitter followers.  My kids are the perfect age to maximize their cuteness and I'm okay with doing so.  

Ultimately, I think that campaigning with children is a smart and resourceful move. Running for political office is certainly a family effort that would not come without any sacrifices. Traveling with my children would give me a chance to spend some additional time with them and prepare them for what life would be like if I were elected into office. Knowing my children, I also think that getting a chance to travel with mom would be a great experience for them and exciting. Sounds like a win, win scenario in my book. 

 

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. Read the original question and find links to all their responses here: Candidates' Kids on the Campaign Trail: Good Idea or Bad?

 

 

Image via nataliemaynor/Flickr

 

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