Hedrick Smith is a Pulitzer Prize Winner, former Washington Bureau Chief of the New York Times, and author of The Power Game.
Smith describes games that politicians play to achieve and keep their legislative seats:
Money Game - continuously raise money - dial for dollars daily - there is never enough
Visibility Game - stay in the public eye, take photo opportunities, interviews
Constant Campaigning - the next election is 4 or 6 years from the one that just ended
Favors for the Home Folks - do things that make constituents feel grateful
Inside Game - coalition politics
Opposition Game - make someone else a villain - especially used when the Speaker of the House and President are from different parties
POWER GAMES - NON-ELECTED POWER
Political Action Committees
- differ from lobbyists in that PACs can give money directly to campaigns - lobbyists use money to present arguments to influence legislators
Staff - each legislator has a large staff, including advisors, who we do not elect
Spouses - legislators’ spouses have the legislators’ ears
What we need to do…
Recognize when our legislators are being politicians who are using power games to sway our opinions.