Doesn’t George Bush sr.'s stint in the U.S. House count as having elected office on his own?
It’s pretty obvious why conservatives wouldn’t like Bill Bradley, but I don’t know liberals wouldn’t. It’s pretty obvious why liberals wouldn’t like John McCain, but I don’t know why conservatives wouldn’t. And (am I getting repititious here) it’s pretty obvious why people who hate ex-pro-wrestlers wouldn’t like Jesse Ventura, but I don’t know why ex-Perotistas wouldn’t. So there are some choices.
Just as a side note, I’d like to point out that three Democrats fawned over by the editorial writers in 1988 and 1992 were the ones not running: Sam Nunn, Bill Bradley, and Mario Cuomo. Those ones who did run were the “Seven Dwarves”. It will be interesting to see how people change their views of Bradley now that masochism has led him into the race.
I think politicians are just fine. If you don’t like a set of politicians for their policies, you need to find a set that has policies you like; I’ll help you if you want. But that’s not the reason people don’t like politicians. The real reasons are numerous, but the main one is that it’s very easy to hate someone for their personality. Politicians are dorks and we are very used to hating dorks.
When I ask people to evaluate any number of politicians, they usually hate anyone they have seen on TV, speaking their native language, for ad hominem reasons that have nothing to do with policy. So-and-so’s a dweeb, a nutcase, not a good family man, etc. Who are their favorite politicians? Inevitably, someone they haven’t seen on television and/or someone who doesn’t speak their native language. Nelson Mandela, Thomas Jefferson (a great family man), Winston Churchill, etc.
If those people were ever blow-dried, spin-doctored, stalked by tabloid journalists trying to find crap about their past, or forced to answer questions from junior-high students, you’d hate them too.