by Dan Gibson
An article on Politico makes it seem like a total bummer to be a Congressperson these days, yet there are so many people who want the job (at least in this state). It's all so confusing, outside of the fact that a former member of Congress can make a ton of money lobbying their former colleagues, I suppose. Oh, for the good old days of power and graft!
Take Rep. Dan Boren, an Oklahoma Democrat now in his fourth term. In the old days, the moderate Blue Dog would have been a sure bet to bide his time in Congress, win reelection by serving up earmarks to his constituents and, after a couple of decades, grab the prized gavel of the Armed Services Committee.
But Boren’s on his way out, contemplating work in real estate or energy development back in the Sooner State — retired from Congress at 39.
“If you go through all the things you have to do to get elected and you feel at the end of the day, you’re not pushing the ball forward, it’s time to go do something else,” he said in a telephone interview as he ate yet another in a long string of lunches at the T.G.I. Friday’s in Terminal C of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
“I’m used to being a player,” Boren said, fondly remembering his days in the state Legislature as he lamented the dim prospects of a moderate moving up the ranks at a time when ideological purity has supplanted seniority as the primary factor in gaining power.