Thursday, November 04, 2004

Give Us Another Southern Governor, Please 

Earlier, I was going to write about why senators do so badly in Presidential races. I just saw that Brad Delong posted about this topic yesterday. He has a problem with the fact that long-time senators don't do well in presidential races, and that might be a valid complaint. However, I think that governors actually aren't that poorly qualified.

First of all, their job basically echos the job of the president but on a smaller scale. People might have valid reasons to be turned off from someone who has had a long history of political sausage-making in the senate. Governors, like the President, can simply accept or reject the bills that come out of their legisatures, letting them keep their hands clean and still take credit for the good things that happen under their watch. While governors and senators might both pander to their constituents, that behavior might be looked down upon more in a senator, who does such things with federal issues. Voters might be more forgiving of such vigorous representation at a state level, and see it as a desirable attribute.

Lastly, I think comparing the resumes of presidential candidates is really dumb. No one ever has enough experience to be the president, unless he already was president. I don't see why a governor of a given state's experience should be any less relevant than a senator from that same state, since they require the approval of the same set of voters. But I don't think people really care about their leaders' resumes anyways, they care about what their vision is.

However, if current trends continue, the Democrats might have slim pickings for capable presidential candidates. There was no net change in Democratic or Republican governorships this election, but if the Republicans pick up some more, the chances of finding someone in that group with national appeal get worse and worse.

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