The previous discussion about Shyam Reddy brought up an interesting question that I have debated with other folks in politics for a number of years: What kind of experience is best for candidates and elected officials?
Specifically, I am referring to candidates’/officials’ experience prior to holding the office they currently hold or are running for. More specifically, I mean is it better to have a law background, which has been the traditional background of most lawmakers in the past; or, does a business background prove to be more effective? Also, today we are seeing a lot of lifetime politicos running for office, i.e. Ralph Reed, etc.
So, what do you think? Is it necessary for elected officials to have a law degree and practice law, or does business experience prove to be more valuable for government and elected officials? What about someone who has worked on campaigns and perhaps in a Presidential Administration their entire career … do they have the experience to lead and represent the people (keep in mind, I am mainly talking about statewide and congressional seats – not local offices)?
Who would you rather have, a businessperson, a lawyer, or a government worker? There are obviously pros and cons to each, but what about the growing trend showing that a great deal of our elected officials are beginning to come from business backgrounds, rather than the traditional law backgrounds?
Also, what kind of education is important … a JD, MBA, PhD, etc? Or, is it necessary for elected officials to have a degree?
I have always been interested in this debate, because politics is the only field where people emerge from the most diverse backgrounds and experience. Also, this year’s races in Georgia are a perfect example, because we have candidates running for signficant offices, who represent all kinds of backgrounds and experience, and of course, they all tout their experience as something that will help them when they are elected.