Monday, April 18, 2005

Harold Ford, Jr.'s Soliloquy

To run, or not to run, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler for the candidate to suffer
The slings and arrows of campaigning
Or to take refuge against a sea of troubles in a safe House seat,
And by ducking again avoid them? To run: to campaign;
Once more; and by running to say we welcome
The heartache and the thousand political barbs
That candidates are heir to, 'tis a falsehood
Devoutly to be put forward. To run, to campaign;
To campaign: perchance to win: ay, there's the rub;
For in that endless campaign what difficulties may come,
When we have shuffled to yet another press conference,
Must give us pause. There's the "gotcha"
That makes calamity of political life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of Republicans,
The grand jury's wrong, the proud uncle's contumely,
The pangs of early polls, the national committee's delay,
The insolence of voters, and the spurns
That patient merit of unwashed crowds takes,
When I myself might my legacy make
With a safe House seat? Who would cable show hosts bear,
To blather and sweat under a hot light,
But that the dread of life as a private citizen,
The anonymous country from whose shadow
Few politicians return, puzzles the will,
And makes me rather bear those perks I have
Than work for others I might not earn?
Thus does indecision make wafflers of us all;
And thus the native hue of Harold Ford
Is made even paler with this endless uncertainty;
And campaigns of great and lofty platitudes
With this regard their volunteers turn awry.
And lose the name of Senator.