New Castle News

Closer Look

October 26, 2013

John K. Manna: Why would anyone run for office?

NEW CASTLE — Why are you running for office?

This is often the first question — a softball one at that — candidates for public office are asked. And sometimes we get great answers and sometimes we’ll get something like, “Hmm, let me think.”

Recently, I got to thinking about the federal government shutdown, Obamacare, the national debt and all other related issues.

So, I wondered about members of Congress who talk about the federal debt and Obamacare. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But if the deficit and Obamacare were both eliminated tomorrow, what would be your next big thing? Do you have some program in mind that you’d like to get through?

I’m not referring to earmarks, but something that may help farmers, improve education or medical research, for example. Something substantive beyond your immediate goal.

Lo and behold, a few days later I learned that perhaps I’m on to something.

While channel surfing last Sunday, I caught part of the panel discussion on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” One of the panelists was Stuart Rothenberg, a political analyst, who surveys and rates political campaigns throughout the country.

Rothenberg said he had conducted 150, 200 interviews of candidates over the last two election cycles and asked a lot of Tea Party and LIbertarian candidates why they were running.

“They said, ‘We want to do away with Obamacare,’” Rothenberg said.

Rothenberg said he would reply that the president and the Senate would not allow repeal of Obamacare and asked the candidates what they hope to accomplish.

And the answer was the same: That they want to do away with Obamacare.

My impression is that those who fall into this category will say that if we eliminate the debt — and Obamacare — that, essentially, everything else will just fall into place.

Are voters satisfied with that?

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