What is the typical politicianâ€™s reaction when he is caught out? Deny, lie, shift the blame. This appears to be Meg Whitmanâ€™s strategy when the story came out that she had fired her housekeeper of nine years for being an illegal immigrant. Whitman had taken the stand that employers of illegals should be held accountable, so then she had to get rid of the evidence that she was one of those employers. When her dirty little secret came out, she began to deny, and apparently lie (in the face of evidence), and she blamed the housekeeper and her lawyer, and her opponent, at having conspired to make political capital out of her actions.
How much effect this incident will have on the campaign is not easy to predict. The Whitman camp has doubled her ads on Hispanic television in an attempt to counter negative effects. I believe that the fact that she hired an illegal immigrant is not the main issue. What is the most important aspect of this incident is how she treated her housekeeper of nine years. That part is clear. She fired her without compassion, told her that she never knew her, cast her off like one would throw away garbage. Then it was cover up time until the word got out, and the strategy changed to deny, lie and blame others.
Whitman would have been much better off to have taken the initiative in the first place, admitted to having made a mistake, and given some hope to the dismissed housekeeper, perhaps even helping her attain legal status. That is what a compassionate person would have done. We know now what Whitman is not.