Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Celebrity candidates a unique breed. Would you vote for Ventura for Prez? What about Erika for Congress?

I’ll confess to not fully understanding the concept of “celebrity” political candidates.
Sen. Ditka? Who's kidding whom!
By that, I mean the type of person who has accomplished something in some field that put them in the public eye. Which makes them think they can turn that public attention into votes to get themselves elected to political office.

HECK, THE PEOPLE of Minnesota got one-time pro wrestler Jesse Ventura for four years as their governor – and he’s inspired enough by that victory that he’s now going around talking about wanting to run for president come 2016.

With broadcaster Howard Stern as his vice-presidential running mate, nonetheless. Although I’ve also heard speculation that rocker Ted Nugent also is contemplating a presidential bid to espouse his love of firearms.

I don’t see either one of them seriously being capable of holding elective office, although I’m sure there are some knuckleheads in our society who will cast ballots for them just for kicks.

Which is what it all comes down to with these types of campaigns. I’m sure some will try to claim that Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns are the same thing in that he developed celebrity status while on the campaign trail that encouraged some to vote for him – but they really aren’t.

BUT THE FACT remains that we occasionally get these types of people thinking they are somehow fit for public office. And I can’t always predict how seriously they will be taken.

Take Mike Ditka, who actually had some Republican operatives back in 2004 trying to encourage him to run for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois after GOP nominee Jack Ryan’s campaign fizzled out (due to the actions that occurred during his marriage to celebrity actress Jeri Ryan).

Ditka didn’t take the bait – thereby sparing himself a likely defeat to the very same Obama in his pre-presidential days who had already begun to establish the aura that has persuaded many people to cast their votes for him.

The Libertarian duo?
Although I find it humorous that Ditka in recent days has felt compelled to spew rhetoric implying he should have run – because he could have somehow spared us all the concept of a “President Obama.”

DOES DITKA THINK that sucking up to the ideologues by feeding their fantasies will somehow encourage the political operatives to consider him as a candidate for office in some future election cycle?

Or was Ditka just bored enough to the point where he felt compelled to share his fantasies with all of us. My own fantasies involve a Pulitzer Prize or two, but I don’t feel compelled to write rants telling you about the stories I could have covered that might have won me that top prize!

It makes me wonder why some people feel compelled to spout nonsense. Although I realize they’re trying to appeal to the kinds of people who don’t really understand government operations and probably resent the fact that government has influence over their lives.

Dumbing it down to the level of voting for a Ventura, or contemplating a Ditka may simplify it in their own minds – even if it would do nothing for public policy.

YET THE STANDARDS of fluff fluctuate.
I suspect many of the same people who want to take seriously the idea of a “Sen. Mike Ditka” are the same ones who are dumping on the congressional campaign of Erika Harold.
HAROLD: Seeking a higher title

She is the Miss America from 2003 (2002’s “Miss Illinois”) who has since graduated from Harvard, worked for a time as an attorney in Chicago, and has since returned to her hometown of Urbana so that she can seriously run as a Republican for Congress.

We in Chicago would have treated her like a complete joke if she had run a GOP campaign for one of the city’s congressional districts.

THE DENIZENS OF east-central Illinois are getting all worked up over the thought that Harold would take on freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill. The ideologues want him to be able to build up seniority instead of having Harold dump him – even though any serious reading of her own philosophical beliefs indicate she sides with them on so many issues.

Davis, of course, is one of the GOP Congress members who faces harm due to the federal government shutdown. Which makes me wonder if Harold could capitalize on this.
Too bad she didn't wear an Illini t-shirt
Or will it be one of the Democrats seeking that post who will manage to prevail.

Because it seems that some people are just having too much trouble taking seriously the notion of a “Miss America” in the House of Representatives. I can’t figure if it’s her racial background (she’s not lily white) or just her gender (they’d love her as a politician’s spouse).

ALTHOUGH IT PROBABLY makes as much sense (if not more, considering Harold’s actual education and work experiences) than having a one-time New Orleans Saint coach in the Senate – which would have only one possible benefit.

It is about the only way we in Illinois would ever get a “Saint” amongst any of our government officials.


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