How to Run For Class President and Actually Win
You always thought your side-parted hair was a weakness. You assumed your failure to keep promises was something others didn’t like about you. In reality, these are the very qualities that make you the perfect choice for student council president. Here's all you need to know to run a pro campaign.
Come up with a catchy slogan. When Dan Bergenstein ran for high school president senior year, his slogan was, "Vote for Dan. He’s the Man. If He Can't Do It, Maybe His Opponent Can...But We Doubt It.” When Ashley Spencer ran for junior class social chairperson, she went with, "Have a Bash, Vote for Ash." When Chelsea Dagger ran for treasurer, her slogan went, "You Can Count on Chelsea Sweating It Out for One Year." They all lost—so think hard about what kind of message you want your slogan to send to your fellow classmates.
Choose the right running mate. OK, so you don’t like Alex Simpson. But think twice before dismissing him as veep material. He gave the valedictorian speech at graduation last year—and he wasn’t even graduating. That’s right; he’s got that kind of power. Align yourself with would-be enemies, because if you don’t, they might run against you. And win. Go for the gold: buy lunch for your bête noir and make your proposal. If you’re lucky, he’ll go Oprah and give a free car to everyone who votes for your ticket.
Spin the right stories. Have your PR people track down that sweet kitten-eyed reporter for the Wisconsin Dell’s HS newspaper. Cozy up to her, shower her with things all Wisconsin girls love: brats, cheese, go-kart races. Just when she thinks you really care about her, ever-so-nonchalantly tell her the story about how you spent your summer teaching impoverished kids. Then sit back and wait for a glowing profile of you to appear on the front page of the paper.
Speak the language of your people. Sarah Palin spoke all “folksy” to the voters, and although she didn’t get the win, she got attention. It’s important to speak the same vernacular as your classmates, so you seem “real” and “likeable.” We think it’s best to start off your speech with a resounding "Wassuh" and end with something like, "Stay classy, Wisconsin Dells Class of '13".
Make promises you can’t keep. This practice has been customary with politicians for centuries, and can be traced to the first democratic societies in Rome. So go ahead and promise things you have absolutely no control over: No gym for a year. Extra free periods for all those with two ears. Mandatory bagel Fridays. Impeachment of the principal. And yes, an end to global warming, a visit to Uranus, and a World Series victory for the Cubs.
Have you ever run for student government? How did you campaign?
Related post: The Five People You'll Meet In Student Council