And Then There Were 25 [OPINION]
The 25th Democrat to join the race for the party's nomination to take on President Trump next year has done so. Former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pennsylvania) tossed his proverbial hat into the ring on Sunday.
Why are there so many Democrats hopping into the race, and do they really think they have a shot at winning the nomination? First of all, running for president is an ego thing. Politicians have mighty large egos. So there is that. And there is always the possibility that a little-known, lesser candidate could emerge from a crowded field of more well-known nobodies. Jimmy Carter did it in 1976.
Running for president looks good on the resumé. It also allows you to travel and deliver speeches on someone else's nickel. Politicians love to hear themselves speak. Your candidacy can also result in TV appearances and perhaps even a book deal. It raises your public profile, and for people who love to be noticed, that is certainly a good thing.
Running for president also provides an opportunity for candidates to bring issues important to them to the forefront. A lesser candidate, while a long shot for the nomination, can raise attention to the issue and sometimes even get the other candidates to talk about it as well.
There are many reasons why people run for public office, particularly for president, and we can never say for certain which ones consider themselves to be serious candidates. We can assume that most take themselves seriously and believe in whatever it is that got them in the race in the first place.
The more, the merrier. I hate coronations. Bring on the candidates and let them debate the issues for all the world to hear. The people are smart enough to weed out the bad candidates and those whose sense of purpose may be a bit suspect.
The primary process is like America's Got Talent. Everyone gets an audition and slowly but surely we whittle the list to a few finalists.
Let the games begin.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.