26 July 2007

Who wants it?

I asked yesterday how many people would be considering a shot at Alaska's House of Representatives seat, given Don Young's recent performance. But the more I think about it, I wonder who really wants the job.

Here's why: in order to win the seat, you have to run a statewide campaign and all you get in return is the chance to be one of 435 people in Washington in the same job. The only time you get any national attention is if you screw up and the only way you can do anything for your state is if you have a ton of seniority.

But if you run for Senate, you still need to run a statewide campaign but you only have 99 peers, whose words are treated much more seriously. You can get national attention much easier and it is far easier to give the perception that you are doing something by frequent, weighty pronouncements.

I can't see why Mark Begich or Ethan Berkowitz would want to condemn themselves to years of back-bench drudgery in the hopes they can hold the seat in a Republican-leaning state and have Democrats be in the majority when their turn for a chairmanship finally rolls around.

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