Michael Bennet — Not Exactly A Man Of The People

Ross Kaminsky provides a link to the wedding announcement from Sen. Bennet’s wedding back in 1997.  It sounds like what you would have expected the wedding announcement to look like in the tony wedding that forms the backdrop for all the action in Wedding Crashers:

The bride, 33, a lawyer, is to join the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, in Denver next month. Ms. Daggett, who is keeping her name, graduated magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College, and she and the bridegroom received law degrees from Yale University.

Her mother is a painter and an instructor at the Arkansas Art Center’s Museum School in Little Rock. Her father is a partner in Daggett, VanDover, Donovan & Perry, a Little Rock law firm.

Mr. Bennet, 32, was until recently a counsel to the Deputy Attorney General of the United States. He graduated with honors from Wesleyan University.

His father is the president of Wesleyan; he was the Assistant Secretary of State for international organizations in 1993 and 1994 and the president of National Public Radio from 1983 until 1992. The bridegroom’s mother is an art historian specializing in Roman antiquities.

As Ross says, there’s nothing wrong with any of this.  The Bennet/Daggett families appear to be decent, respectable people.

But his well-heeled privileged background complicates things for Sen. Bennet.  He is the hand-picked appointed choice of the Democrat leaders in Denver.  He is running in his first state-wide election, and he is not a natural fit background-wise for the rest of the state. 

It’s pretty clear that Bennet’s staff views this as a potential problem.  His official campaign website opens with the Senator and his family standing in front of a mountain vista wearing jeans and fleece jackets — pretty much the official state outerwear.  During the primary, his campaign ran a commercial of him using Washington County, Colorado (2,524 square miles and about 5,000 people) as a backdrop and wearing what appears to be a Carhartt jacket. 

The fleece and Carhartt-wearing Bennet just does not seem authentic.  The guy looks like he wears a  jacket and tie to the office on Saturdays.  He would be better served by going with his natural self instead of playing dress-up.  We are not all ranchers, farmers, or mechanics.  Some of us are lawyers, school administrators, or corporate middle management.  Indeed, it is condescending to ranchers, farmers, and mechanics for a politician to think that he has to dress like he were one for them to support him. 

It’s the lack of authenticity that turns people off, and faking authenticity doesn’t work.  It also indicates, at least to me, that you really can’t be trusted.  It indicates that you will do what it takes to get elected, and that getting elected and staying elected is your highest priority.

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Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  

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