Drupal.behaviors.print = function(context) {window.print();window.close();}>

Why I Don't Want to Run for President. Maybe

Saturday, May 27, 2000

At a Washington Press Club Foundation gala held in March, 2000, Lynn Sweet, D.C. bureau chief for the Chicago Sun Times, asked several of the assembled dignitaries to explain why they did't want to be president. Here are two answers.

Subhead: 
At a Washington Press Club Foundation gala held in March, 2000, Lynn Sweet, D.C. bureau chief for the Chicago Sun Times, asked several of the assembled dignitaries to explain why they did't want to be president. Here are two answers.
Bookmark and Share

align="right">"I really haven't come to that conclusion yet why I don't want to be President. . . Every politician, every elected official, wants to be President of the United States. So if the question is, "Why are we not running for President?" then I will take it from there.

I don't know if I should do it. . . .First of all, on the pro side, on the plus side, the whole recruitment of volunteers and personnel to run a campaign and to be victorious has changed. In California, we have volunteers and people coming out over the Internet screen. You can barely accommodate the enthusiasm of people who want to make a difference and be involved.

The caliber of volunteers has improved too. My father, who was Mayor of Baltimore, Thomas D'Allesandro, and a member of Congress, used to say everybody thinks their children and nieces and nephews can do political work. And he told me of one call when someone called and said, "My nephew wants to work in your campaign.'' [Father] said: "What can he do?'' He said "Nothing.'' [Father] said: "Send him right over. We won't have to break him in.''

… You know how repetitious it is. And after doing all of that work, fundraising, speaking, trudging all over the country and you win, you are still only the second most important and internationally respected person in Washington, D.C., at least for as long as Michael Jordan is in town.

So people say to me, "What wing of the party are you in? Are you a New Democrat, a blue dog, a progressive?" I say: "I love them all, but I'm forming my own grouping. And everyone can belong. It's called the New, New Democrats. And the New, New Democrats will have as our symbol, as the blue dogs have a little dog, we have a frog. And this frog will leapfrog over all the power structure and old debates and old ideas. And the new, new idea of the New, New Democrats will be a Democratic woman in the White House. And that is my final answer.


I'll bet you had to go pretty deep into your Rolodex to find a Senator who doesn't want to be President.

It's not that I couldn't be President, mind you.

  • I'm as qualified as Donald Trump.
  • I'm as spontaneous as Elizabeth Dole.
  • I can flip pancakes as well as Gary Bauer.
  • With a little practice, I could learn to irritate the Republican Leadership as often as John McCain.
  • And Steve Forbes - I can't - it's just too easy.

Here are the reasons why I won't run for President.

  • I've been to Iowa-once will hold me.
  • And-- not to sound like I'm whining-- helicopters mess up my hair.
  • In all fairness, I have to admit that I copied that one from Trent Lott's list.
  • Speaking of hair, I just wouldn't be able to decide which airport to shutdown for my first Presidential haircut
  • And you know, I don't look good in earth tones, and I'm not sure what an Alpha female is.
  • I wouldn't know where to begin fundraising-- don't even know any Buddhist monks.
  • Then there's the press. I don't want Maureen Dowd or Bob Novak to write about me.
  • I've never contributed a dime to the Imus Ranch.
  • And the State of the Union speech, I can't speak for two hours without a break...
  • And most of all, I would have to forego my lifelong dream of learning to play the saxophone. It is now clear that George Bush should have said in 1992: "No New Saxes." Okay. I know that wasn't funny Indeed, we have had enough sax in the White House to last us a long time.

Maybe the country is ready for a President who is a single, Irish Catholic woman from a small town in northern Maine-but is it really ready for a moderate Republican? Especially one that the Right-Wing would consider, as the President would say, far too livable."