An article on the upcoming SF City Assessor's race illustrates nicely the campaign rhetorical device I hate most: Non-politicians running for political office.
The in-crowd, outsider narrative is as old as our country (historians rest easy - I know it's older than that, but for purposes of this discussion . . .). We're a country of outsider/outlaws who broke away from mother England and established a republic based on citizen rule which means, depending on which Framer you follow, that legislators should either be short-serving everymen or everyman who can serve a little longer.
David Dreier once told me that he doesn't see a problem with his lifelong congressional service because when the Founders envisioned a government filled with all kinds - farmers, doctors, etc - they would've also been fine with professional congressman. I happen to agree with him (sorta - mostly I'm in awe of the reasoning, brilliant and cagey as it is) but that may be only because my particular skills set and training is pretty much geared toward, well, legislating.
Agree with his politics or not, at least he's honest about being a politician. Many politicians - especially people who are spending thousands of dollars to become politicians - spill a lot of ink and cash insisting they are no such thing.
Former LA mayoral candidate and political offspring of run-government-like-a-business (Device That Bugs, Vol. 2) Dick Riordan, Steve Soboroff's signs read "a problem solver, not a politician."
Newsflash: if you're posting blue and white standard-sized campaign signs around town you. are. a. politician. Or at least you're really hoping to be one.
And frankly, why shouldn't you be? And frankly, your constituents will be much better served if you're willing and able to play the game long enough to bring home the bacon (it's only pork if it's cooking in someone else's district).
In the assessor's race, I wonder how Supervisor Sandoval paints himself as an outsider. The three candidates aren't giving each other any breaks - each charging the other two of being too political and motivated by personal interest, etc. One is accused of being more political than the apolitical he claims to be after having expressed interests in other elected offices.
At the end of the day, it's a wonder we get anything done at all, since it seems voters want assurances that their candidates are qualified for . . . well, something other than leading in government. Some do get by on the experience-in-office narrative (see: Bush, George W. - circa 2004, that is). But for the most part, we the people still allow our would-be representatives and executives to get away with applying for a job and highlighting their inexperience in the interview. Thanks but no thanks. I want someone who can get things done, isn't ashamed about that ability, and someone gusty enough to force voters to raise their expectations of elected officials and of themselves.