John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Running for Office

The other day I was interviewed about who I thought run in the 2015 Governor’s race. Here is an answer I fleshed out that didn’t get quoted but I re-read it and liked.

“As fun as it is to speculate about who will run for governor in 2015 and who will be the strongest candidates, it is more art than science and more about personal timing than politcal timing. At bottom, running for governor is an irrational decision. One morning you wake up and decide to run because you can’t not run. It is a leap of faith. One of the boldest leaps of faith a mortal can ever take who is also politically inclined. And especially in Kentucky. Where it is two parts political and one part horse race.

jyb_musingsAnd the gambling metaphor is fitting. Running for governor is like walking up to a casino craps table and grabbing the dice. But before you throw the die, striping off all your clothes and crawling onto the table. And betting everything on yourself –physical, mental and emotional–on a single roll. Not because it is a wise or prudent thing to do. And not because you have nothing to lose or something to gain. It is deeper than that. There is something in the gubernatorial candidate’s DNA code that makes him or her feel they are betraying their genetic make-up if they don’t run. They run not because they worry of what others will say in their presence if they don’t run —but rather worry what they will whisper to themselves when no one else is around.

It is, in these candidate types, as if they were born with invisible wings. And like any animal blessed with wings, there will come a day when it is time to try to fly.
And that day, so to speak, is more about instinct and impulse that intellect and preparation. The day a gubernatorial candidate files to run for office is, in a very real sense, the day that particular political animal believes is the day he or she is finally ready to fly.

And they jump.”


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