The Washington Post has a subtly devastating profile of Mark Pryor, the Arkansas Democratic senator who has a tough reelection fight this fall. It begins this way:
HAZEN, Ark.–In private moments, Mark Pryor likes to ask his fellow senators a personal question: What was the thing that got you started in politics?
Some have told him it was the Vietnam War. Others say it was the conservative vision of Ronald Reagan. In most cases, these scarred old pols started out as idealists, with a determination to change something very big in American life.
Pryor himself can’t come up with an answer like that.
“I don’t really have that one issue, or one cause that has gotten me involved in this,” Pryor said. “I just believe in good government, and working hard.”
In other words, Mark Pryor doesn’t have an answer for why he wants to be in the Senate, just like Ted Kennedy didn’t have an answer in 1980 for why he wanted to be president. A vote for Mark Pryor isn’t a vote for good government, it’s a vote for good genes.