WANTED: Quality Candidates.
I’ve complained about this before … the growing shortage of good, capable, informed, intelligent people running for office at every level. And I mean people of both political parties. But in every election cycle, fewer quality people take the plunge and run for office.
Consider for a moment what it takes to run for Congress. First of all, you have to be old enough to be taken seriously by the voters. (Legal age minimum: 25 for the House; 30 for the Senate.) Most candidates for federal offices are at least 10-15 years into their civilian careers. Too bad. They’ll have to put career on hold while they run and many give it up altogether if they’re elected … a move that’s often regretted just a few years later.
Then they have to somehow sustain themselves and their families during the campaign. The fact is, if you can’t spend 12 hours a day in one or more of the campaign activities, you should never have decided to run for office.
Having been involved in a number of major campaigns, I assure you that running for a major office will eat up a couple of dozen seven-day weeks, each one filled with 12 to 18-hour days full of shaking hands, speaking at forums and town hall meetings, and making hundreds of phone calls soliciting campaign contributions.
But through it all, somehow sincere people … smart people … good people … continue to
seek elective office, almost always at significant personal sacrifice. The very least we can do is put some effort into determining who are the thoughtful ones, the reasonable ones, the quality ones. We really haven’t been doing that very well … and see what happened?!!