Caucus Office Politics: Conveniently Unavailable
It's been interesting to watch John McCain slowly start to gain ground in Iowa, since he and Rudy Giuliani have purposely been avoiding the state since the beginning of the caucus season (which I believe started sometime in 2005, right after Bush's inauguration). Actually, the unofficial launch is the Straw Poll that was held last June, from which both candidates bowed out. Neither has made much effort to maintain a strong presence in Iowa, and I was a little surprised when The Des Moines Register gave McCain its nod for Republican selection.
McCain, at the eleventh hour, has been engaging a little more than previously. All of a sudden, the Iowa publicity is appealing to him. Rudy still hasn't made much of a splash here and probably won't be in the next 24 hours. What amuses me is when I see this kind of behavior in office politics. It's a basic power play, where somebody in power (generally an executive) will avoid meetings and phone calls and not respond to emails, leaving the parties on the other end to attempt to progress without him or her. Then the offender swoops in at the last second and upsets the entire apple cart, leaving everybody scrambling from their hit-and-run drive-by management. For those who read GUST - The "Tale" Wind of Office Politics, the chief antagonist in the book was based off of an actual executive who played those games.
Are McCain or Giuliani right for the nation, let alone right for Iowa? Who knows? A buddy of mine is an editor for a small town paper, and they were unable to get representatives from either camp to even show up for an editorial board interview. When you make yourself unavailable, you leave a lot of room for people to make assumptions. That's my best way of dealing with this type of individual: document the assumptions about what is acceptable behavior (showing up for meetings, turnarounds on requests, etc.). If only we could apply those rules of engagement to the candidates.