Lance Armstrong: Politician?
Our favorite French-looking Senator, John Kerry, was at the Tour de France today. While there, he speculated on Lance Armstrong's potential political future:
"What's made him so special at the Tour de France, and as an athlete, is the level of focus, discipline, intelligence, strategic ability, and obviously, his endurance -- his ability to just take it on and go," Kerry said.
Those qualities would serve Armstrong well in politics, Kerry said. But Armstrong is also friendly with fellow Texan George W. Bush.
"I think he'd be awesome, he'd be a force. I just hope it's for the right party," said Kerry, an avid cyclist and longtime fan of the Tour de France.
Not so fast, my Vietnam-veteran friend. While it's true that Armstrong is an amazing athlete whose story and appeal transcends his sport, I'm not sure those qualities are what make a successful politician.
Armstrong is great at the Tour because he does nothing but prepare for it. He has a single-minded determination to win. While that drive may help him get elected, it probably won't help him in office. A successful politician needs to compromise sometimes. They need to work the system to get things done. They need to rely on other people.
Maybe Armstrong could do that. He's a father, an author, a cancer survivor and movement starter, so it really isn't just about the bike. But, my question is whether someone like Lance Armstrong would be happy in politics. I don't think he would be. I think people like Armstrong set goals for themselves and know (and do) what they have to do in order to achieve them. Even the most successful politicians are going to fail a lot, regardless of the effort they put into things. Could Armstrong deal with that kind of failure without getting disillusioned?
Finally, I think a great politician needs to be in government for other people. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but Armstrong is selfish. He's selfish in the way that all great athletes are selfish. On the Tour he has 8 riders who are dedicated to helping him win. There's nothing wrong with and that's the way things work on the Tour. But, a politician should be doing the work for the benefit of others, not the other way around. In fact, Lance's "faithful Lieutenant" George Hincapie might be the better politician as he's shown the kind of selflessness we want from our representatives.
I have no doubt that Armstrong could easily be elected to almost any office he wants to pursue. But just getting elected doesn't mean he'd be a great politician. Contrary to what John Kerry has shown throughout his career, getting elected isn't all that matters. It's not just about the election, it's about what you do once you get there.
Posted by at July 23, 2005 06:11 PM
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|# July 23rd, 2005 8:33 PM BVBigBro|
|Armstrong probably could get elected. I think he'd make a terrible politician. In racing, his team does what he tells them to do. In politics, they don't. Not only that, but they say they are going to help you, and then do the opposite. I think he would find democratic politics frustrating. |
|# July 23rd, 2005 11:34 PM james|
|no way is lance getting elected.
first, he aint gettin elected in texas because he'd be a candidate of the wrong party.
next, even if he was a member of the right party, or if he lived where it didnt matter, he lived in europe for far too long.
|# July 24th, 2005 8:00 AM AcademicElephant|
|Does anyone else see the disconnect between this post and the one below? Armstrong is a potential candidate because of his incredible discipline at...exercise. The President is an idiot for exercising. These people live in a fantasy. |