Ivanka Trump has won a series of lucrative Chinese trademarks since her father was elected president, yet another conflict of interest for the administration that is fueling cynicism about public service, Shapiro writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
We are entering the season when fledgling 2018 congressional candidates reveal their Capitol Hill ambitions in Facebook posts, tiny rallies in makeshift headquarters and even old-fashioned declarations on the courthouse steps. These candidate announcements will be brimming over with earnest words about “public service,” “the wonderful people of this district,” and “bringing change to Washington.”
Lurking beneath the boilerplate oratory is a more complex set of motivations explaining why a candidate in his or her prime earnings years is willing to gamble away the next 18 months in the uncertain quest for a job paying $174,000. Idealism and ideology often do play a role, but so does a hunger for fame and a restlessness with one’s current life.