People are known by the company they keep. Paris Hilton shot to fame after being photographed with Hollywoods’ elite. And Tiger Woods’ image will forever be tainted following his sex scandal that linked him to party girls and Las Vegas club girls.
For politicians, especially those running for office, associations are everything. Politicians have been both elected and kicked out of office because of a simple association with a person or group.
Politicians build careers on associations: democrat or republican, House or Senate and committees and coalitions. During election season, endorsements – public, selected associations- become gold as candidates look for associations with groups or people who will bring in dollars and votes.
But associations can be the death of a politician and can go a long way in destroying a reputation and a career. As we’ve seen in the Senate race, Tiahrt’s association with the Tea Party Express has provided a few more obstacles for the campaign to over come – although we must mention that Moran isn’t too far removed from the action- and in the 1st District race, Huelskamp’s acceptance of an endorsement from Club For Growth means that he now has a firing range aimed at his biggest opponent- whether he likes it or not- and we’re guessing he doesn’t mind the extra attacks. Those relationships show a lot about a politicians. Not just what he or she believes in but what type of organization they want to represent them and what type of people they are aiming to represent.
As Aug. 3 nears, candidates have and will continue to highlight their associations with people, businesses and organizations and it is those relationships that could very well carry them to victory. But it is also those same groups that could become the demise of a candidate.
It’s a good lesson for all of us to remember: you are known by the company you keep.