I first read that Republicans are trying to get Dennis Miller to run for office in California from Mr. CalBlog, and now I see another story linked from Drudge. Miller seems like a smart, articulate, thoughtful man, and I'm at least open to the idea of him running for office. I just watched "Bordello of Blood", and he's great against vampires -- always an advantage for a politician.
The article from Drudge lists a few liberal celebrities who are considering running for office as well, but the list seems pretty lackluster to me. Not in star-power, but in intelligence.
(Actor Kelsey Grammer and tennis star Martina Navratilova are among those who have talked about opening political careers in recent weeks.)I've heard all of these people speak extemporaneously, and they all sound like idiots. I'm sure there are some intelligent, liberal celebrities, but these folks aren't them. In fact, come to think of it, the most politically vocal liberal celebrities tend to be the most innane. Maybe that perception is just a byproduct of my disagreement with their views, however.
"You know all of the people on 'Friends' are going to be available. They are making $1 million an episode. Most everybody knows who they are," says Martin Kaplan, director of the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center, which studies the intersection of politics and entertainment. "All this drives home the idea, I think a false one, that you don't need any particular skills or background to be a senator or a governor. All you need is ambition and fame."
In general, who would I like to see running for office? I don't think military officers make great politicians. Nor doctors, even though they're well-educated. I think that a legal education is beneficial for a politician, but people who go into law just to make money probably don't make the best public servants. Academics shouldn't get into politics, because they're too far-removed from reality.
I think that non-academic historians (are there such people?) might make good politicians. Maybe intelligence officers. Entrepreneurs, engineers [Pure vanity! -- Ed.], economists.
All those jobs carry potentially disadvantagous baggage as well, but just as Bill Hobbs notes about journalists, I think it's important for politicians to have some education and job experience in fields other than politics itself. Take Grey Davis for example: he's been in California politics for 30 years. When a reporter asked Arnold if he thought he had enough political experience to be governor, Arnold replied: "If you want political experience, just stick with Grey Davis." Everyone got his point.
So who do you want to see running for office?