Why don't YOU run for political office?

This is kind of a poll, but since there are no prefab multiple choice answers, we’ll try GD with the other political threads.

Why not run for political office yourself? Have you considered it?

I was talking to a friend of mine who has a poli sci degree, & she keeps finding political work, but she’s loathe to run for office because she doesn’t want to either bite her tongue or have to tell people in this conservative area what she really thinks of the Bible. And I think, why not try anyway? I don’t expect a race for the legislature to be like picking a bishop, what do I care about her personal lack of religion? And there are plenty of people–conservative people–in this district that feel the same way. Are they going to vote for the fake-devout person in the privacy of the voting booth just because of what Ma would think?

Well, she has her job for this year anyway.

I’m thinking maybe I should run for something. And I shouldn’t on paper, I’m a horrible candidate. I’m no leader of men, I’m often unemployed, I’m a college dropout, I’m unproven, I have no real experience in this. But I may run for some state legislature seat if no one else in the party does. Maybe this year. Maybe someday. If I’m not distracted by something shiny. If only to embarrass all the better candidates who were more respectable** and **more competent than I but afraid to try.

I wouldn’t mind, but I don’t have time or energy to work the circuit.

A few years back when I lived in Oakland I swore I run for mayor if that’s what it took to keep Igancio De Le Fuente from getting the job.

Realisitically I’m pretty sure I’m unelectable for a number of reasons.

Yes, that’s my reason too. I have friends in Australia who are MPs, former MPs, councillors or former councillors. At one time I was president of a local branch of a political party. I’ve seen how much work they do, and I don’t have the energy to do it.

For whatever reason, I don’t think many of the people who have been elected to public office actually majored in poli sci. The common denominator is a law degree.

I’d never run because of too many skeletons hanging around you-know-where.

I’ve had several friends who ran for office (some were elected, some not) and a bunch more who’ve had various non-elected positions in government (we might call them “bureaucrats”) who wouldn’t run if you paid them.

Regardless of their ideology, the ones who ran for office are much more people-oriented, while the ones who work behind the scenes are more inclined to feel that their major contribution comes from making the system work.

A lot of it actually does come down to one’s willingness to work the circuit. And, sort of like being a salesperson, one’s ability to endure people saying “no” to your face all the time.

Also, people in office, whether it’s the city council or the president of the united states, pretty much surrender any hope of a private life. Some people tolerate getting a phone call at 3:00 in the morning from an angry constituent better than others.

I have skeletons in my closet, as does everybody else, but I don’t feel the need to put my family through the wringer and air private matters to feed my vanity. And that’s what it is, vanity.

I’ve often said that the people you want to run for office never will for that very reason. It’s only the people who are willing to inflict abuse upon their families that will run, and why would you want a person like that to run? No amount of power or money could make me do that.

A local office isn’t such a big deal. I could run for borough council or the school board if I thought it would matter. But a national office? Not a chance.

I live in Virginia, and I have publicly, vocally condemned the Confederacy as “treason in defense of slavery.”

Many times.

I’ve said and done other wacky things, too - but that, in itself, would probably be damning when in came out.

I ran for schoolboard as a senior in high school. Didn’t win by a long shot, which is OK because I headed off to college, but I did get some funding from the local Republican party. Used it to print up yard signs and such. Talked to the city council, even got to attend the state pubby convention, which was very enlightening to this future Democrat.
Running for office makes an interesting experience, and there are plenty of positions, school board, weed board, natural resource district representative, etc that are not very competitive, yet allow you to get your campaign feet wet. If you win a slot on the weed board, and you find you like the feeling of power that gives you, :wink: you can use the knowledge you’ve gained in that campaign to try for city council after a few years.
There’s a learning curve to the process, but it isn’t all that steep.

I work in a position where I have to be aggressively non-partisan. Someday, when I retire, I might run for office.

I have a degree in political science, which is actually useful in my current career position.

The country is not yet ready to accept the profound brilliance of my political beliefs.

When that time comes, I’ll jump right in!

I kept asking my boyfriend that. Now I’m stuck supporting him through a mayoral race, which sucks like you would Not Believe. On the upside, he was on Look At This Fucking Hipster as “Look At This Fucking Campaign Website.” So I guess we’re famous.

Seriously, you have to have your whole household completely on board and willing to do anything. I’ve been to more amazingly boring mayoral forums as an ornament than I thought I could ever stomach. Drank wine across from some of the most repellent people who are killing my beloved city without spitting at them. Done all the campaign research on transportation and budgeting and public safety and sustainability and learned enough about how ugly the city’s politics are to disillusion Pollyanna. It’s an ugly business.

I’m an atheist. End of story.

I may if I’m old enough to do. In fact I wouldn’t mind being Presidents of the United States or even Emperor of Terra.

Hell, I’d probably vote for you for that reason alone. You, sir, are correct.

I know many elected officials, and have volunteered on many campaigns, in addition to one year of paid national field staff work (for Mike Dukakis, in 1987-88). Ohio elects its judges and I’ve considered running for several years now, but it would be so costly in terms of time, energy and money that for now I’m not going to do it. Maybe someday.

I’m too honest and not ambitious enough.

Too much craziness in my past to get elected. The current media atmosphere is based upon digging up some old crap and blowing it entirely out of proportion until it becomes something to gawk at. I don’t need that kind of headache. I’m also fairly certain that my no bullshit attitude would get me nowhere in Washington. I’m not good at sweet talking.

Sweet! Two votes!

Oh … wait. Ohio.


I would. But I’m too old-fashioned to run in one of these newfangled election things, and organizing a private army takes time (even with cloning). It will be at least another year before I’m ready to make my bid for office. Accepting campaign (snerk) donations now! :slight_smile:

You also learn revolting things about the electorate, by the way. Our friend is running against an incumbent who was literally busted for stealing from poor people (fraudulently getting her mother a loan which she also benefited from that was supposed to go to new businesses in economically depressed areas) and he’s going to lose. Because people are going to vote for her because they know her name and she’s the same color as they are. And other people won’t vote for him because they wouldn’t vote for a white man over a black woman, no matter how corrupt and vile the black woman.

Meanwhile, the newspaper essentially refuses to cover any mayoral candidates but the “big three”. Guess who decided who the “big three” are? Right, the newspaper. Mostly because they have the most money. Not, mind you, the most individual donors not counting corporations - just the most money. They’ll show a picture with nine candidates at a forum, but if you just read the article next to it you’d think there were only three there.

What I’ve learned is that you don’t know a damned thing about local politics (and I’m sure national as well) unless you physically get up and go to forums, go to town halls, go to city council meetings. You have to spend most of your time seeking out information or you’ll think everybody but those three people is some kind of Ron Paul loony. The fact is, a smart, educated, reasonable person could very well vote for, say, six or seven of the nine. They all have something worthwhile to say, surprisingly enough.

You lose any fresh-faced optimism you used to have about democracy, I tell you that. I was surprised at how much I had left to lose. If only for that, I wouldn’t recommend it.