David Brooks asks: will anyone want to run for political office?

In his latest column, David Brooks profiles Illinois Republican Senatorial candidate Mark Kirk. After going through his strong points and suggesting that it seems like Kirk would make an ideal candidate, he then goes into Kirk’s embellishment of his service record. And how the Illinois campaign has turned into what some people have called “the liar-liar campaign.”

And then Brooks brings up a logical point: if this is what happens in politics, who will want to run in the future?

The reality is, Kirk has led a life that is extremely impressive in most respects. The oddest thing about him is that he’s willing to go through this process. And the larger question is: In the years ahead, how many other talented people will be willing to do it, too?

While the prospect of doing good or being in power will always appeal to some, will the process become so unpleasant that the people who make good and reasonable candidates no longer desire to run? This is something to watch in the coming years.

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