Can you imagine Mike Bloomberg serving on a board of education? Donald Trump as a city clerk? Andrew Yang taking time to be a sheriff? One reason why I think rich celebrities in office are a bad idea is the lack of real world experience in dealing with real people. Maybe politics requires some interaction with sycophants and hangers-on. But give me a small-town mayor or city councilor any day.
One problem for federal politics these days is the lack of experience in city, county, or state government. Let’s look at the first elected office for some of this year’s presidential candidates:
- Michael Bennet, US senator, eventually elected; school superintendent, appointed)
- Joe Biden, county council
- Michael Bloomberg, mayor
- Cory Booker, municipal council
- Pete Buttigieg, mayor
- Tulsi Gabbard, state legislator
- Kamala Harris, city district attorney
- Amy Klobuchar, county attorney
- Beto O’Rourke, city council
- Deval Patrick, governor; US Assistant Attorney General, appointed
- Bernie Sanders, mayor
- Tom Steyer, none yet
- Donald Trump, US president
- Elizabeth Warren, US senator
- Andrew Yang, none yet
I threw in a few significant appointed positions above that preceded elected office. I thought these were illustrative. The three mayors are interesting in terms of the relative sizes and stature of their cities–New York, South Band, and Burlington.
What kind of work record do you expect in your elected officials?