Valentine’s Day is here and did you know that you need to have a strategy for it as a candidate for public office?

Yes you do, but don’t go freaking out. It’s pretty simple and straight forward.

Valentine’s Day is the day set aside to celebrate romantic affection and dote over our significant other.

I’ve found in my twenty plus years in politics that’s it’s the candidates who have the most supportive spouses are the ones go the furthest.

That’s why I always ask a would be candidate if they have the support of their husband or wife before they decide to run for office.

If your spouse isn’t supporting you, you’re honestly going to have a hell of a time running, especially in a tough or nasty race.

The only person affected by a political campaign as much as the candidate – and in some instances more – is the candidate’s spouse.

The spouse not only endures the natural ups and downs of the campaign, they often provide the soothing presence and comfort the candidate needs due to those ups and downs.

The spouse loses the candidate to the campaign trail.

The spouse is left alone more often than usual.

Schedules and routines of the couple are disrupted.

The spouse picks up the slack at home.

And when the attacks come, not only does the spouse help calm the candidate, but they internalize the attacks as they are unable to respond and defend the person they love.

Which brings us to Valentine’s Day.

No, this is not one of the unofficial holidays you shouldn’t be campaigning on.

But it is the kind of day you wrap things up early and make time for your spouse, or your committed significant other.

And this isn’t about photo/video/social media opportunities for you as a candidate to show that you are a normal person who celebrates Valentine’s Day with the person they love.

Yes, you should wish your spouse or significant other a happy Valentine’s Day and say glowing things about them on your social accounts, but that’s separate from this.

This is about you making the time for the person whose love and support is enabling you to campaign the way you are.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to actually turn off your phone and give that person your full attention.

They deserve it and you know it.  It’s good for you both.

You deserve some time away from the frantic nature of your campaign.

They deserve to have you fully present with them showing your appreciation.

It’s a good time to slow down and recognize what’s really important in your life.

And that will probably refocus your energy and remind you of the reasons you decided to run for public office in the first place.