Candidacy restricted to unemployed?

Would it be better if candidates for President and Vice-President be forced to resign any currently held government job (excepting incumbents) at the moment of announcing their candidacy and acceptance of financial contributions? It seems like McCain, Clinton, Obama, Biden, Dodd, Richardson, Kucinich and Ron Paul (I know I’m forgetting someone) could all serve the country a lot better if they just did the jobs they previously campaigned for and were elected to perorm. There could be a loophole allowing for temporary appointments to replace them until they apply for reinstatement no sooner than the day after the election for which they announced is held. (and of course they lose all of their benefits at the end of the month in which they resign - just like real life - except their medical benefits which by the time this is enacted, will include universal health care.)

Why should President X be able to campaign for re-election while still carrying out his day job, while Senator Y and Representative Z have to resign? And what about State Governor W? Could federal law require a state official to resign?

In reality, pretty well all elected officials spend at least part of their day campaigning for re-election or campaigning for their next office. It’s part of democracy, not unique to the federal system in the US, and I don’t see what your problem is.

Quitting the Senate to concentrate on the White House run worked out so well for Bob Dole, I don’t see why everyone doesn’t do it.

So the only people who can run for office are those with enough money lying around to live off during the multi-year long campaign?

Would this apply to governors as well? There’s some logic to it, but it rules out the candidates most people would agree have the best and most relevant experience. Incumbents already have a leg up, and this would probably increase that.

That’s a matter of opinion.

That could shift the balance of power in Congress almost at random. And would it really be good for Congress to have that much business done by temporary members?

Well there is a lot that is wrong with the electoral process and I for one am certainly open to suggestions for improvement, but it galls me to watch people run for office with no expectation of completing their term if they can advance to another position. To me this smacks of dishonesty, over ambition and a lot of other character flaws, but mostly I object to the free ride that these govenment employees are getting, while failing to perform the duties of their job. (I feel the same way about incumbents writing novels, histories and other works of fiction and non-fiction unrelated to their job, while in office, but free speech etc. prevents anyone from doing anything.) They are clearly not doing their job and at no risk.

The reason I would exempt the incumbent Pres and Veep is because there would never be such an announcement from them. Why would they announce they are candidates for a job they have to quit to campaign for? Also the incumbents are more often than not re-elected or shown the door based on their performance, not on their campaigning. In addition if we want them to participate in the process (and I think we do) we could not penalize them for doing it.

Running for president is a full time job. Candidates may retain titles, but they are performing no work for at least a year before the election.

I would say the proposal in the OP is already the status quo, and has been for years.

I disagree. I certainly think it’s possible to be a functional and effective senator, congressperson, or governor and run for President. There would have to be a lot of delegation of responsibility going on, but they can still function in their main role, including voting, negotiating legislation, and handling other affairs of state.