A columnist from Massachusetts points out that Elizabeth Warren’s failed run for the presidency resulted in a loss of representation for the State:
According to ProPublica, Warren has missed 53.5% of her votes during this session of Congress. This makes her the third-most absent member of the Senate. (Remember: We lowly taxpayers pay Warren $175,000 for this job.)
She clearly decided that running for president was a valid excuse to neglect and ignore her Senate duties. Yes, this despite the fact that she pretty much promised Massachusetts voters in 2018 that if they reelected her, she would not run for president. Then, of course, she changed her mind just a few months later and decided to run and skip out on her current office to do so.
This is a slap in the face to the people of Massachusetts, who elected her to a six-year term just in 2018, undoubtedly with her promise to actually serve this term in mind. Turns out, serving in the Senate was just a backup option for Warren in case her presidential aspirations didn’t work out.
In other words, it’s all about serving her interests, not those of her constituents, whom she failed to represent in Washington more than half the time. This is a bipartisan problem, and I’ve written about it before. Elected officials should never take their current office as a given, even while reaching for more influence.
Aside from term limits, the best way to end political careerism is to require people to serve out the full elective term of office (barring debilitating illness, injury or misconduct), and to ban the practice of running for more than one office at once (i.e. president and senate). It’s bad enough how much running for reelection shapes an officeholder’s term. Trying to grab the next rung of the ladder while keeping one hand on the current one “just in case” is the opposite of public-mindedness. Too many special elections (which cost taxpayer $$) occur because John Q. Politician was elected to two different offices simultaneously, or else was picked as a political appointee while serving in an elected office. In a country of nearly 330 million people, nobody is that indispensable. If someone believes they are called to greater responsibility, they should demonstrate a commitment to it by fulfilling any current public obligations, then focusing on convincing the public or an executive to give them such an opportunity. Such an expectation by the people would mean candidates would be out of political work from time to time. And that’s not a bad thing, considering that also happens from time to time to the citizens they allegedly represent. Let our would-be representatives live like the rest of us occasionally.