What Makes Them Run?

cainAnothewebbr day, another announcement that somebody is running for President. The list of candidates seems endless. I used to think only Republicans were susceptible to the call of the campaign trail, but now Democrats are getting into the act, too.

And you know it’s often just an act. The vast majority of the candidates have no chance whatsoever of being nominated.

Most of the 16 Repubiclan candidates are barely making a dent in the polls, and, among the Democrats,  only Bernie Sanders presents a challenge to Hillary Clinton.

Why, for example is Jim Webb (lower photo), wasting our time?

It will be a cold day in Hell when Democrats choose a presidential candidate who supports the Confederate flag and opposes Affirmative Action.

Among the Republicans, there are too many longshots to mention. Take George Pataki for example.

I know. George who?

Pataki. He used to be governor of New York state. Remember? Of course you don’t. It was a long time ago.

I suppose some people simply can’t resist the allure of the limelight. They want their 15 minutes of fame and they want it now.

Yes, I know there are some candidates who run because they feel deeply about something – abortion or gay marriage  or whatever.

But some candidates have more mercenary motives.

Herman Cain (top photo) for example. He parlayed his nutty 2012 candidacy into a lucrative media career.

Newt Gingrich is another ex-candidate who has built a highly profitable publishing operation.

Being a former presidential candidate does wonders for your resume, too. You can become a highly paid lobbyist, perhaps… or get invited to join the boards of some high-profile corporations… or – if you’re a lawyer – wind up as a partner in a posh legal firm.

And, of course, all that media attention can make a candidate’s speaking fees soar. I guess Phineas T. Barnum was right when he said there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

It doesn’t always work, though. The political landscape is littered with might-have-beens who sought the limelight, got whupped and vanished from public view.

I suppose it’s a chance worth taking, but I for one wouldn’t want to try it. Would you?