Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

In 2000, Florida Congressman Ric Keller was just Citizen Keller, running for Congress for the first time.

An October 2000 news story states, “Regardless of whether Democrat Linda Chapin or Republican Ric Keller wins Orange County’s congressional battle, neither one of them will be in the seat past 2008. Both Chapin and Keller have signed pledges limiting themselves to eight years in office.”

Now, that was optimistic. But hey: I was optimistic too.

After Keller won his first term, I saw him speak at a conference sponsored by U.S. Term Limits. He was persuasive about the virtue of serving a few years, then stepping down. No big deal for him to leave Washington and return to Florida to enjoy balmy lakeside life. Keller was very aw-shucks and folksy about it.

That was then. Now Keller has decided eight years in one political office is not enough, despite his pledge.

He’s telling reporters that as a “rookie candidate” he just didn’t understand the importance of seniority in Washington. Hmm. That’s funny. I thought one of the best reasons to support term limits was because we understand how seniority works in Washington!

There’s also the issue of integrity versus self-interest. Other leaders have kept term-limit pledges: Mark Sanford, now the governor of South Carolina; Tom Coburn, now a U.S. Senator; and Keller’s fellow Floridian, Charles Canady, who was just nominated to serve on the state supreme court. Unlike Keller they’ve succeeded and kept their integrity.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Jason Connor says:

    I’m not surprised. I recently moved to Orlando and into Mr. Keller’s district. Upon moving someplace new I research my Senators and Congressman and usually write an introductory letter.

    In Mr. Keller’s I expressed my disappointment that he didn’t sign the No Earmark pledge that many of his colleagues did. He wrote me a nice letter back explaining what a great thing earmarks are.

    I suspect violating your term limits pledge goes hand-in-hand with being an earmark lover. We are no longer a people’s congress.

  2. dan says:

    If I had another choice I would not vote for Keller. The choice between him and Grayson is a no-brainer

  3. Joe Wright says:

    When you’re hired to do a job, the assumption is that you have the qualifications to do the work required. Why isn’t this the case with politicians?

    Yes, there are jobs where you might be hired as a trainee and get on-the-job training.

    But I submit that being a President, a Vice President, Secretary of State, a cabinet member, a Senator or a Representative or any other government officer holder is not one of these jobs.

    There are some in NYC who are arguing that 4 years is not a long enough term for Mayor or City Council member. They say that the first few years are needed to learn the job. I say, learn the job before you run for office.

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