Meg Whitman spent over 141 million dollars of her own money trying to get elected as the governor of California.
And she lost.
Actually, that second part doesn’t bother me so much. Why? Because here’s a woman who hasn’t voted herself in like 25 years in any election (claims she was too busy) but when she sees the chance to grab onto a very high public office, suddenly she’s got a spectacular belief in the power of politics and elections to do good?
Well, ya know what, Meg. I have a feeling that if you would have spent 141 million dollars not on TV ads and mailers for yourself but rather have done something like build a school, a hospital, a fire station, or so on and said to the voters, “Ya know what… I put my money where my mouth is. I believe in public service, I believe in societal institutions and I am so bleepin’ rich that I am using my money to do something for the good of the people of this state…. And if you make me your governor, I will work hard to do more good things for the people of this state,” you might have scored a few more votes.
Instead, the only impression I ever got was that Meg wanted something for herself out of becoming our state’s governor. She wanted the power, the prestige, the laurel on her biography, whatever.
Meg might have said she was running because she felt she could “serve the people” but a person can say whatever they want – especially when running for office. What she did was show that she was willing drop an exorbitant amount of money in an ego-driven pursuit of glory.
I don’t think this election was about policies so much; I think it was about people not going for the idea that just because you are rich you can buy a public office.
At least not so blatantly.
Now I could be wrong, but if Meg would have built a school or a hospital or so on with her 141 million, at least on November 3rd we would have a school or a hospital. Now, all we have is a few unremarkable media ads.
Meg’s mega-money loss… a loss for what might have been as well.