This criticism may seem a bit strained but I have a problem with people holding public office writing books or having any other part time job. This is especially true of those holding national office such as President, Senator or Representative. I bring this up because I see Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has written another book.
I’m sure Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope: Reclaiming the American Dream, is a good one. He’s a thoughtful, intelligent man with lots to say. I’d probably even pick up the book myself if I had the time. Yes, if I had the time. And that gets to my gripe (petty as it is).
I don’t think a U.S. Senator has the time to write a book. Or shouldn’t. Maybe I’m just applying my own personal bias here, but if I were a Senator I would feel obliged to learn everything I can about, well, everything. That would involve a lot of reading and little writing other than in pursuit of more learning.
I often wonder how much these guys really know about the things they are voting on; not just the verbiage of the legislation itself but the ideas, causes and effects behind the measures. I think it would drive me to a near state of paralysis wanting to get all the facts before casting a vote. I would want to devour information as fast as I could access it. I wouldn’t have time to write a book in the middle of all that. Book writing would come after I retired from (or, more likely, voted out of) office.
So while, I appreciate the Senator’s literary abilities and many of the ideas he will presumably communicate in the new book, I just think he needs to focus on the job he was elected to do. And that goes for the rest of them too.