Why is becoming a presidential candidate amidst another government term the normal?
The most dominant ongoing news story across the U.S. is the 2020 presidential race. Candidates are being interviewed, leading town halls, and hosting rallies in exchange for the spotlight and platform to spread their message. The list of presidential candidates each election cycle is large; this cycle is no different. For the Democrats, 24 candidates are looking to take the presidency from the incumbent, Trump. The issue, however, is many of them have other things they should be doing rather than campaigning.
Look no further than candidate and South Bend Indiana Mayor, Pete Buttigieg. Following the death of Eric Jack Logan, a Black resident, at the hands of the city's police, protesters took to the streets demanding justice, and that Buttigieg take action. Buttigieg took this time to depart from his campaign trail and return to the city. What followed was the berating of the incumbent and a realization from many watching from afar.
Even with his transparency and interactions with residents, it is clear to see that "Mayor Pete" is out of touch. Spending so much time away from your constituents could never have a positive outcome on your policies or interactions and it shows. After Buttigieg's filmed interaction his support in the presidential race took a hit; he fell in the polls.
This is where the problem lies. The office of the presidency is the highest in the country. Asking someone to not only endure all of the precursors to becoming such but also the duties of running an entire borough, city, state, district, etc. is the tallest of orders. That is why we do not ask.
That goes for all candidates, Buttigieg is not the only example. Mayor Bill de Blasio, rather than campaigning in Iowa could be on standby for New York's power grid, or closing the now five-year case of justice for the Garner family; Governor Jay Inslee (WA) need not be in the presidential office to have an effect on climate change; and Steve Bullock (MT) may want to listen to some of his constituents who would rather have a senate candidate than a presidential one.
As a government official your policies, proposals and actions can change the lives of constituents drastically. By running for president while governor, mayor, or even as a member of congress there is no conceivable way 100 percent of your efforts can go towards improving the lives of the people. Now that the list of Democratic candidates for the 2020 election is absurdly long, it is the duty of the people to truly ask of these public servants who they are really serving.