01/08/08 — A noble purpose: Even if you don’t agree with them, candidates are leaders

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A noble purpose: Even if you don’t agree with them, candidates are leaders

No question — politics is a pressure cooker.

And whether you are for or against Hillary Clinton — a comment she made Monday night should remind us all that behind every Washington insider is a person who has at least taken a stab at leadership.

During a public appearance in New Hampshire, Mrs. Clinton, who is often portrayed as cold and calculating, lost a little of her edge when she said that her run for the White House was “personal” and was motivated by a deep love for the country and concerns for its future.

And her voice caught a little when she said it.

If you are no Hillary Clinton fan, you might not put much stock in her reaction — staged for the cameras, you might say.

But it does reflect something many of us forget as we slice and dice those who are seeking their parties’ nominations for high office. It takes some gumption to put yourself out there.

And that can’t be motivated by ego alone.

Imagine the long hours, the stress, the damage to personal lives and everything else that goes along with a run for national office — or any office for that matter. There are many who don’t want the trouble or the stress. In fact, getting people to step up has been a real problem.

But there are others who offer up themselves as candidates and take on the mantle others shun. And that can’t just be about wanting to see their names in headlines, especially since most of the time, the headlines are not positive.

So perhaps we might give them a little credit — whether it is President Bush, John McCain, Barack Obama or John Edwards — for at least caring enough to try to make their country better.

Then, we can decide who is most-qualified to do the job.

Published in Editorials on January 8, 2008 10:42 AM