The Norman Transcript

Columns

July 25, 2013

Success in politics is just scandalous

NORMAN — After a professional lifetime of chronicling the feats and foibles of politicians, I got to wondering what it might be like to become one.

One doesn’t enter into a career-changing venture like this without realizing that votes aren’t cheap. Well aware of the late Jesse Unruh’s dictum about money being the “mother’s milk of politics,” I set out to get me some.

I discovered a shadowy political action committee rumored to be funded by both the Democratic and Republican parties. I was surprised to find it in the back room of a suburban Dunkin’ Donuts.

On the door was a sign with big letters reading “PPAC.” Inside, seated behind a desk was a bespectacled gentleman who welcomed me to the headquarters of the Politicians Political Action Committee and asked what he could do for me. On the wall behind him were framed photographs of Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich.

“I want to be a politician,” I said. “I understand this is the place to get started.”

The gentleman opened a desk drawer and moved a piece of paper from it onto the desk. It seemed to be a form that he hovered over with a yellow No. 2 Ticonderoga pencil. He asked me my name and why I want to be a politician.

“Well,” I said, “I’m very civic-minded, have schooled myself on the issues and have a desire to work tirelessly to represent my constituents with the utmost integrity.”

The guy leaned back in his chair and guffawed. Presently, he wiped the moisture from his eyes and regained his composure.

“Good one,” he said. “Now really, what do you want from a political career?”

“Well, OK,” I said. “I want the five-figure speaking fees, the junkets to exotic places at the public’s expense, to be wined and dined by lobbyists and well … you know ...”

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