Is it possible that what you do on the job is more important than how long you hold the job? I’ve always felt that you can get stuff done on Day One of any post. Just common sense. But many career politicians don’t think like this at all.
Many career politicians even though they yodel about how well-qualified they are when they’re running for office plead incompetence once they’re in office. They tend to do this especially in the 16 states that have legislative term limits. “Hey, give me a few years to find the bathroom!” is their plaintive plea. “And then I’ll start figuring out how to pass a bill. . . .” Yeah, we get it. And another decade to figure out how to get away with political corruption without anybody noticing. And another decade to name half the state after yourself. So it’s refreshing when somebody doesn’t try to pull this gag.
In Oklahoma, Democrats in the statehouse have nominated Representative Jari Askins as the new speaker. Assuming Democrats hold onto their majority after the 2004 elections, Ms. Askins can only do this job for two years.
She’ll be termed out of office in 2006. Does she claim that she needs more time than that just to find the bathroom? Not at all. “I knew if I had a chance to be speaker, it would only be for a two-year period,” Askins says. “My philosophy has always been that it’s more important what you accomplish during your time of leadership than the length of your time of leadership.” Good for you, Representative Askins.
This is common sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.