Thursday, June 16, 2011

Electoral Politics For Fun and Profit

Winning Would Be Inconvenient

I note that some of my favorite news sites are celebrating Gingrich's decline in the polls, but more or less ignoring the reasons his top aides quit en masse.  They complained, IIRC, that his campaign was more about product placement than winning the nomination - campaign stops were timed to promote his commercial product rather than winning the primaries.

This was a typical quick pick up by Gingrich and spouse, but they were hardly the pioneers in this type of politics for profit.  Sarah Palin's career in politics can far more easily be explained by pursuit of the easy buck than political ambition.  She made tens of millions off her feckless pursuit of the Vice-Presidency, and even managed to use it as a good excuse for dumping that lousy job she had, which required spending a fair amount of time away from home in Alaska's capital.

It could be argued that Bush junior was the real pioneer here.  Somebody once observed that he never really wanted to be President - he wanted to be ex-President.  For that he was willing to suffer through the discomfort and embarrassment of being President.  Palin and Gingrich seem to have figured out how to avoid all that nuisance, though.

Their motto inverts the old saw of "take the money and run" to just "run, and take the money."