Janice hopped into my car, dressed smartly for business or pleasure. On our way to the airport I learned that her husband’s name is Steve, as is mine. Janice has three teenage children. She is going to college for both business and humanities. She has managed interesting projects ranging from human resources to not-for-profits. She is looking for a new challenge to accent her new commitments to further her education and her transition in the next few years from mother to businesswoman, grandmother, and champion of causes to make the world a better place. Our campaign might be just the thing for her.We exchanged contact information and agreed to meet upon her return from North Carolina.
Janice called me and we met for coffee. We hit it off. Big-time campaigns need people like Janice. I sold her on the project of running for the United States Senate. Her skills and enthusiasm could carry us far. Her enthusiasm is viral in a good way. Enthusiasm is a gift from God.
Then two days later came her text. Cold feet. Too daunting, raising millions of dollars just to win votes from citizens. Public appearances. Lack of privacy. Intrusive introspection from the press. Gotchas galore. It’s not for her.
“I would love to continue as a sounding board for you, Steve, but I am not sure how helpful I would be in a room full of conservative Republicans. My leanings are for social justice.”
Admittedly, the time constraints of a statewide campaign permit me to sympathize with Janice.
The shame is that it’s really not for anyone, this cutthroat business of running for “high” office. You almost have to be high to do it. We have lost our minds in American politics. It should be about issues before it is all about the money. We should be talking about genuine issues of concern to most people; we should not just ask for money. But, regrettably, it is about the money and the party and that is all it is about all too often. True American values have given way to success and self esteem.
Janice is right. Running for Congress is nuts. And I need another Janice.