From a piece about Harry Reid’s difficult re-election campaign:
Reid has what some political strategists refer to as an “Al Gore problem.” It is widely believed that Gore would have won the 2000 campaign if he would have just stayed out of public view for the last two weeks of the campaign. But every time Gore would emerge into the spotlight, George W. Bush’s numbers would improve.
For an incumbent (or in Gore’s case, quasi-incumbent) who is not well-liked, visibility is the enemy.
Would that more candidates would try that strategy of not making public appearances! I suppose it would only work for incumbents, but still, not being visible would make many politicians more likable. In the early days of our republic, presidential candidates would make a point of not campaigning, allowing their surrogates to do that for them. It was considered undignified to appear in public asking people for their votes. And it is undignified!
Can you think of other politicians, past or present, who might have “an Al Gore problem”? I don’t want to bash them. Let’s limit this to politicians who actually might be pretty good at their job, but simply don’t come across all that well.