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Public figures, private lives

Last week our attorney general’s attendance at a teen party made some big news, and his campaign seemed to struggle with an organized response. Obviously this isn’t the first time smartphones have generated controversy for a politician, so it’s too early to tell how this will affect the Gansler gubernatorial campaign. Now that the dust has settled, the lingering impression is that Gansler’s team lost control of the incident .

Doug GanslerSome have the knack to turn these situations into opportunities. After all, no one is perfect, and if you can handle a tough situation with grace and honesty,  people are often willing to forgive. Part of the challenge for Gansler was his public stance against underage drinking. Candor out of the gate would have gone a long way here.

Is it hypocritical for Gansler–as a professional–to stand against underage drinking while–as a parent–allowing his son to celebrate in an environment of underage drinking? For what it’s worth, Gansler said that in retrospect he should have done more.

While I think these incidents tell us much about the politician as a person, I do not think that they tell us how that person will do his or her job. As technology continues to blur the distinction between our private and public lives, public figures will continue to face these episodes.  Do you think that technology has eliminated a sense of privacy that our everyday lives used have, or do you think that technology is helpful by giving us a sense of greater transparency? Is the information that is more transparent due to modern technology of any use, or is it just a distraction? Does it really matter how the attorney general parents?