WHAT DRIVES POLITICIANS?…

VP Joe Biden

Mayor RT Rybak

…Ego!

Certainly there is more to it than ego, but when it’s boiled down to the basic whys and wherefores, it’s ego. Some people believe they are in it to make a contribution to the betterment of our world, or they have a burning desire to be the catalyst to change the world into a better situation. Still the bottom line is ego. Because even a person with publicly stated noble intentions can’t do it without a strong enough ego to boost that person to that level of involvement or leadership.

The good thing about a strong ego is it drives people to get involved, to try to make a difference, and to try to do good things for their constituents. The down side, unfortunately, is ego usually exposes greed, self-promotion, and a lost vision of why they are there to begin with. American history is littered with the remnants of political ego run amok. Tea Pot domes, Checkers, JFK and his “womanizing”, Watergate, CIA-Contra, Monica Lewinsky, Cheeney and Scooter, William Jefferson, Gary Cunningham, John Edwards, Eliott Spitzer, etc, etc, etc. These are only a small sample of American political problems. I would say that even my two political heros of my life, Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey, were involved in things not suitable to the American palate. Fortunately for them, they didn’t have the blood-thirsty media jackals on cable 24/7 grinding away to expose the grimier political side of these heros.

Today’s political environment has forced people in politics to become two-faced. They now have to make promises of high morality to the public, while in the back rooms fueling their ego drives with smellier plans to advance their own agenda. There is no political party that is immune to this. Remember, ego makes people do things that aren’t exactly in line with ethics and morals. Greed and personal promotion sometimes make people do things that are not morally or ethically right and sometimes even downright illegal. Let me make this clear, I do not believe that all politicians are crooks, in fact most politicians are very good people and work hard for their constituents doing what they believe is right. One thing they all must have, however, is a solid staff behind them. The role of the staff is to keep the politician focused and honest. The staff needs to deflect all attempts from the outside to sway a politician. The politician in turn, needs to make sure his staff is not involved in any “funny business”. This brings me to the impetus for today’s commentary.

Desire to advance in the political world is almost natural. A person might feel they have done all they can do at one level, so now they seek to move to the next. Again, ego is what drives this desire, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In my mind, it’s a “not so comfortable” situation when a Joe Biden runs for Vice-President, but remains on the ballot in his home state as his party’s candidate for Senate. I think a politician needs to commit to a cause and move forward. I think “covering your bases” kind of smells of ego out of control. We have a situation here in Minnesota that is similar. Mayor RT Rybak(D), of Minneapolis ran for re-election to his mayoral seat last fall. Since he has been a great mayor, one of the best in the history of Minneapolis, in my opinion, his re-election was a slam-dunk. Here’s where it starts to smell a little bit. Mayor Rybak filed to run for governor the day after he was declared winner of the mayors race. Obviously he had the race for governor in his head all along. I believe that’s somewhat deceptive and a slap at the residents of Minneapolis that just re-elected him as their mayor. As I referenced earlier, the blood-thirsty media found a little dirt on the Rybak mayoral campaign a few weeks ago. Apparently, the mayoral campaign purchased the DFL statewide donor list last summer. The media questioned a Rybak for Mayor campaign official about it. The response was they needed to reach out beyond Minneapolis to find campaign donors. I don’t believe they had to spend that much on a “slam-dunk” contest in their favor for mayor. So really, I think the campaign needs to come clean on their rational for the purchase of this list. I think they can fix it by selling the list to the Rybak for Governor campaign, but I’m just not sure. I am convinced, as are many other Minnesotans, the list was purchased for the governor campaign. Now, the nit-wits from the republican party are suing the campaign. I’m not sure why, but suffice it to say, it will smudge the Rybak campaign effort. This is only the primary campaign! What happens when we get to the general?

Rt Rybak has proven he is a great administrator. He has done a great job managing the affairs of the biggest city in the state. I have no doubt, RT Rybak would be a great governor! He has the experience being a chief executive, and that’s what it takes to be a governor. If he gains the nomination, I will support him 100%. I’ll door knock for him, I’ll have his sign in my yard, and I’ll talk him up on this blog. Oh, there is another negative to his strategy so far. If, Mayor Rybak wins the general in the fall, which if he is the DFL candidate, he will, a special election will have to be held in Minneapolis to replace him as mayor. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars is that going to cost? Sometimes politicians make decisions or choose paths to follow that are wrongly driven by ego. This one of those situations.

I’m not happy about the potential of losing RT as the mayor of Minneapolis. Call it selfishness on my behalf, but RT Rybak is a great mayor of what I consider the greatest city in America, with the exception of the climate of course, and I don’t believe there are any capable candidates to replace him. Filling the governor’s seat is much easier. There are actually a few very capable candidates on the slate to do that. Those are my thoughts, I think RT Rybak is great, and I want to believe he got a little bad advice from his handlers on these issues I have addressed. Thank you.

Cam Obert

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