By TOM HONIG
Public service is an honorable calling, but for some, it's more about their own ego and the ambitious pursuit of power.
How else can you explain Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer and Mark Sanford?
Sanford fell into disgrace with his infamous romantic journey to Argentina. Spitzer -- Mr. Law Enforcement -- decided that prostitution laws didn't apply to him. And Weiner ... the less said, the better.
Yet all three think that the world can't do without their presence in public life. In fact, Congress has not been improved by having Sanford back. The people of South Carolina could easily find someone else to serve in his place. Spitzer is hardly the only qualified person for the job of New York City comptroller. (If his service there was so damn important, why did he instead run for governor back in 2006?) Or, as a spokesman for his chief opponent said: “It’s clearer and clearer that for Eliot Spitzer, this campaign is not about the needs and struggles of New York’s middle class – it’s all about Eliot Spitzer.”
And Weiner doesn't even have the modicum of taste to drop out of the race for mayor of New York. The city has done fine without him over the past couple of centuries, but he's arrogant enough to think that the city is in need of his services. It's not. He actually said this: "I want to bring my vision to the people of the city of New York. I hope they're willing to still continue to give me a second chance."
Why should they? Just so Weiner can add to his resume?
What's the lesson here? For voters, it's this: is someone running for office because they want to serve? Or is it because it satisfies their self interest? Those are questions worth asking.