Vanity candidates—what's up with them? As I begin my long slog through compiling information about the people who want to be elected to public office, I wonder anew: Why? Why? Why? Why do people who have no chance of being elected run for office year after year?
It is a terrible method of political activism and accomplishes virtually nothing. The energy involved could be used in so many different, more effective ways. Some run because they're crazy, because they're lonely, or because they need a hobby. Then there are those whose motivations are a mystery. My nomination for this year's mystery candidate is Linnea Noreen (pictured), who is running as an independent against Seattle's Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott. She seems like a sensible young woman who has some run-of-the-mill ideas, belongs to some regular-type organizations, and reads some mainstream books. So why on earth would she want to spend her time and money on a completely quixotic task like running for Congress?