Monday, September 7, 2009

The Politics of Writing

When she read my high school diary my mother justified her invasion of my privacy with, "If you write it, someone will read it." Having recovered from that early trauma, it's a logic that I live by today. Actually, as a professional writer, I pray for it.

I guess you could say I'm an open book. There are those rare times when I'm not sure I should share so much. My husband has just announced he is running for Congress. This might be one of those times.

His campaign began behind the scenes months ago. While I'm more likely to watch E! Entertainment than CNN, his political foray has been fascinating so far. I'm not sure it's prudent to document it. There's been more intrigue than one might imagine and I had a pretty good idea of what was in store.

Political pundit Chris Matthews is my uncle, whose show "Hardball" airs on MSNBC. Uncle Jim is our controversial county commissioner and my father is running for township commissioner. My younger brother Chris was the youngest director of communications on Capitol Hill under Senator Gordon Smith. Over the years, my mother has volunteered her public relations services to political campaigns. (Note to her candidates: hide your diaries.) In college, I was a member of the Young Republicans. My very first published writing was an editorial in defense of then Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. You could say it is the family sport.

My husband did not grow up with dinner time debates. His was more of a "seen and not heard" household. He was instructed to work hard, do his best and make the world a better place. He has done that for 20 years as a dentist and the next logical step is public office where he can serve even more people. Being exposed to my crew may have given him a voice, but it's his core that makes him a good candidate.

Do they want a good candidate? Well that remains to be seen... and written about. Should I or shouldn't I? You tell me, folks.

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