Saturday, October 17, 2009

Burn the ships!

If the conquest is not successful, we all perish. Look behind you! I have burned the ships! We will win or die!

That’s the charming story attributed to Hernan Cortés on landing near present day Veracruz, Mexico with his army of conquest. As with many charming stories, it isn’t entirely true. But it provides a nice metaphor for some recent political grandstanding.

Marty Seifert says that he won’t run for re-election to the MInnesota House if he does not get the nod to run as the Republican Party candidate for governor next year. Nope. No sir. Ain’t gonna do it.

This, apparently, is to show us how much he wants to be governor: nothing else will satisfy him; he’ll perform ritual seppuku if he can’t be governor. But Marty is not alone; both Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Susan Gaertner have made the same pledge — Anderson Kelliher for the Minnesota House, where she is Speaker, and Gaertner for her current position as Ramsey County Attorney.

These three Serious Candidates hope to distinguish themselves from other mere office holders by their steely-eyed fixation on the prize.

Of course, merely wanting the job really, really bad does not correlate well with who is the best person to elect to the position. If it did, Dick Franson would have been elected to something by now.

It’s a shallow move, boys and girls, a ploy, a tactic, nothing more. Just move along; there’s nothing here.

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