That a little bit of kiss and tell is no impediment to electoral success was confirmed in Finland at the weekend when the publication of a book by the mistress of Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen was credited for a late revival in popularity that led to his re-election.
Mr Vanhanen met author Susan Kuronen, a 36-year-old twice-divorced mother of three, on an internet chat site after his divorce and for nine months they exchanged text messages on their mobile phones that feature heavily in the best-selling The Prime Minister’s Bride. Perhaps the most poignant words the PM tapped out on his Nokia were those of the farewell message to his lover: “That’s it.”
Before publication of the book Mr Vanhanen was trailing in the opinion polls but Associated Press reported Jan Sundberg, professor of political science at the University of Helsinki, as saying “I would say his popularity has improved directly because of it.”
Throughout the controversy that swept Helsinki on publication, the Prime Minister maintained a dignified silence.
It will be interesting to see if a politician who does the showing and telling, like Pauline Hanson is doing in her soon to be published autobiography, gains a similar boost in the polls.