Jackie Gingrich Cushman

"Mr. Spitzer, like Mr. Weiner, is a political animal who clearly finds it hard not to have an audience. That's understandable, but did they have to bring us all along on their journeys of personal ambition? For these two charter members of the Kardashian Party, notoriety is looking like the quick, easy path to redemption."

Why do candidates run for office? The rationales are as countless and complex as the candidates themselves. A better question might be: Why aren't more qualified candidates running for office?

Is the press scrutiny too much? Is the campaign workload too hard (virtually 24/7)? Is the opportunity cost too great (giving up a highly paid job for a potential position with less pay and more stress)? Is the public invasiveness too much for the families? Or is the political field in general held in such low esteem that qualified people don't want to enter into the fray?

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better," Theodore Roosevelt said in Paris in 1910 when talking about citizenship in a republic. "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Possibly the question we have to ask ourselves is how do we encourage more timid souls to try their hand in the political arena?


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.


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