Politicians dressing up for their visits to where the real people work generally look like goofs.
Try out this great selection of politicians playing “dress-up like real people”.
I despise these exercises because;
1) the politician is quite clearly dressing up to pass through for a photo exercise. The dress up emphasises the effort they’ve made to fit in, and the fact that they’re posing for photos.
2) they look out of place. It’s not just the shiny new work clobber – it’s the fact that their office-soft features, and impractical mind, is generally ill at ease in the situation.
Politicians look much better in-the-field when they dress down their usual gear, rather than change the uniform.
I’m in favour of workplace visits that don’t include photographers. If a politician really cares about what people think, or wants to really talk to them, why do they need photographers or media present? Even if politicians are actually doing the visit just to be seen to be doing it, the act of doing it NOT as a photo opportunity has a much more powerful effect on the voters who experience it.
Political fieldwork is now play-acting at being in touch, rather than actually doing it.
It’s even worse than that. Politicians have come to need media presence as a crutch for public engagement. Cameras help create the illusion of relevance and importance. It’s helpful though, because rather than rely on engaging voters with the force of their ideas and personality, politicians are utilising the effect of celebrity to encourage the public to engage with them. Otherwise they fear, quite rightly, that no one would bother.