Thursday, March 27, 2008

after the music stops

The best way to see what a politican is all about is to see what they do when there is they are lame ducks or out of office. Some, like Al Gore (D-TN) and Jimmy Carter (D-GA), go on to do meaningful things about stuff they care about. Others, like Trent Lott (R-MS) and Al Wynn (D-MD), take the money and run.

Roll Call, one of the two big Capitol Hill Newspapers, is reporting that Wynn will announce today that is will "leave the House in June to join a Washington, D.C., law firm" aka become a lobbyist and make millions. Lott already did the same thing, going even the extra step of registering the domain name of his super lobbying firm before resigning from the Senate. Which, by the way, is illegal. Wynn's retirement is a forced one, having been trounced last month by Donna Edwards by over 20 points thanks to new Obama voters (both candidates endorsed Obama in this middle-class majority minority district).

It used to be that people sought elective office because they wanted to do great things and make their country/state/county/town better. Then it used to be that they wanted power and priviledge. Now many politicans just use decades in Congress as a stepping stone to a much more lucrative career in lobbying their former collegues about stuff they don't know (or care) a thing about.

So the real question about Utah's elected officials is, if they had their druthers, what would they do after being what they are right now? Gov. Huntsman clearly would rather be in the executive branch in a cabinet post; he seems to find dealing with the legislature annoying and the topics of dispute petty. Speaker Curtis seems to be trying to hang on to his seat so that he can run for Rep. Matheson's when he expects Matheson to run for governor. Senator Valentine, I have no clue.

Sen. Hatch would rather be a music/movie/tv star, as witnessed by his many albums, fighting for copyright changes, and cameos on movies like Traffic. Sen. Bennett also seems to be more comfortable as a technocrat than as a senator. Although he does love bringing home the bacon, whereas Hatch again just wants to be famous.

The House side is tougher to call. Rep. Matheson seems to have a distaste for lobbying and lobbyists, even if his friends and former collegues coming knocking. So I doubt he will go that route. Rep. Bishop likes to do a couple of pieces of serious legislation here and there, and doesn't need a high profile. So I think Bishop is happy as is. Rep. Cannon on the other hand loves to go on TV and say ridiculous stuff that I can't imagine he actually believes. I think he wants to be a TV pundit.

1 comment:

Cliff said...

A truly excellent point and a profound question all republicans should examine in their hearts.

Republican = greedy and mean with a smile.