Thursday, August 26, 2010

Running For Office

I met Daryl Romeyn at the McMorris Rodgers town hall meeting and had the opportunity to chat with him when it ended. I introduced myself and told him I was a local blogger with tens of readers. (Impressive, right? I know!) Anyway, he was kind enough to answer a few questions and talk a bit. While we were talking we were interrupted by other people stopping by to say hello or bend his ear. He was gracious, polite and respectful with everyone he met. I particularly enjoyed the fellow who kept saying he had an open mind even though nearly everything else that came out of his mouth said otherwise. His closing remark of "If you were a tea partier then we could talk," nailed that coffin shut. But Mr Romeyn politely and energetically pressed that fact that he was an independent with no party backing and thus a candidate to take a chance on since the fellow was so concerned about entrenched politicians. (The Democratic Party is not allowed to help him since their designated candidate lost in the primary.)

While going over the difficulties he's facing in this election, I asked him why he got into this. His answer surprised me. He said he wants to clean up the national forests. He recognizes that issue doesn't resonate with a lot of voters, but I do see he mentions it on his campaign home page. In addition, he was terminated from his job in March and when it was announced that the Democrats weren't going to put up a candidate against McMorris Rodgers he thought he'd step up to the challenge. And then his farm suffered from the spring freeze. He thinks we--our country--can do better.

What struck me the most about him was the lack of passion in his reasons for running. No righting of wrongs. No fire in his eye. No spark of enthusiasm that lights up when he speaks. By his own admission, no cause that resonates with voters. I have to wonder that if he didn't lose his job or his farm wasn't as affected by the spring freeze, would he have entered the race? While we were discussing the New York mosque issue, he said that were he to say something like the Muslims had a constitutional right to build their mosque there then he would lose votes. While I agree with him, that reflects the sad reality of political life. It's all about getting elected.

Do we all have to drop our character off at the coat check when we pass through the doors of political life?

No comments: