I know there is nothing legally or ethically wrong with it. I know that other politicians have made similar moves. I know that many people in this state probably won't think anything of it.
Still, I can't help thinking there is just something wrong with what Tom Campbell is doing.
For those who are not exactly following Campbell's every move (my guess... just a guess... is that is a fair number of you!), the former Republican congressman has decided he can't win the race to become the next governor of California, so he might as well run for the United States Senate, instead!
A bit of background is in order right about here: Campbell, who is oft times referred to, rightly or wrongly, as a "GOP moderate," (I think that means he is not one of those loons who thinks Barack Obama is not really a U.S. citizen?) dumped out of his bid (usually referred to as "longshot bid") for the Sacramento gig, telling his supporters that he did so because he was being practical: He was running against two opponents who, between them, could probably finance a small country; Meg Whitman, the one time eBay head exec, and Steve Poizner, who usually is simply referred to as the "Silicon Valley entrepreneur." You don't really need an iPhone app to tell you these two can financially intimidate the Federal Reserve, if need be.
But instead of dropping out and fading away, Campbell opted to drop out and drop right back in by announcing he will take on Democratic veteran Senator Barbara Boxer. That is, of course, provided he can first dispense with his GOP primary rivals, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.
The problem, in my mind, is that being a governor and being a senator are two very different animals and require two very different mind sets. Personality types that tend to make good chief executives often make horrible legislators and the legislative perspective differs greatly from the administrative.
Maybe Campbell is just more flexible of mind than most? Perhaps. But I know politicians, some really, really good ones, who spent lifetimes wanting to either be the governor of a state or a senator or congressperson representing their people in Washington. The political animal that treats these jobs as interchangeable is an animal I don't want to turn my back on for very long!
Charles Feldman is a journalist, media consultant and co-author of the book, "No Time To Think, The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-Hour News Cycle." He has covered the police and politics in Los Angeles since 1995 and is a regular contributor of investigative reporting to KNX 1070 Newsradio.
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