Doug Hoffman – Two Lines Of Though.

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For those who have no idea who this is, he’s an independent candidate running for New Yorks 23 District Congressional seat. The official Republican candidate is not to the liking of many in the conservative wing of the party, and they are abandoning her in droves to support the guy who they feel better represents a more true conservative philosophy. On the one hand – good for an average citizen for standing up and running for office. I just watched a couple of interviews and he is definitely not your typical politician. In fact he doesn’t come off as a politician at all. He’s very quiet and unassuming. Boring even. His web site is boring! He’s never run for office before. Here is how he describes his career:

At 27 I was hired as controller of the organizing committee for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Three years later I bought the accounting firm that employed my mother. Now I have six offices spread across the northern reaches of New York and a dozen other small businesses in the Adirondacks that employ my wife, children and hopefully someday, my grandchildren.

With the exception of a smattering of the phrase of “The American Dream” on his web site and in his interviews, you wouldn’t know he was really running for something. I suspect you saw quite a few candidates of this quiet and unassuming type¬† emerge from rural areas all over the country in the days before the advent of mass media pollution of the political process, especially TV. Photogenics, not intelligence, has become the most important asset of the modern politician. You know the type; the almost nauseating sparkling personality (usually fake) the ability to recite a catch phrase with the ease of a pitchman, and have a big smile and look good for the camera – John Edwards anyone? Could we have elected an Abraham Lincoln in todays political environment?

Anyway, even though I’m not philosophically in line with what passes as “true conservatism” in the current political environment (social conservatism is still more important than fiscal conservatism), I instinctively like what the guy is doing. I wish we had more ordinary / qualified citizens running and winning.

I have one big concern.

Is he up to the job. The problem with having ordinary citizens run for office is that they don’t know what they are getting themselves into if they win. They end up way way over their head! Though he was selected and not elected, here is a perfect example of a guy who is way way way over his head. Read the whole thing. It’ll make your brain hurt, and you’ll be grateful that you don’t live in the district he represents. This guy also often looks as if he’s in way way way over his head, but that’s fodder for a different post.

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