Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rep. Ric Keller to Seek Re-election - The Folly of Term Limits

The AP is reporting this evening that Republican Congressman Ric Keller of Orlando has announced that he will seek election to an 5th term in 2008, despite his pledge to limit himself to 8 years.

Keller explained that he has recognized during his time in Congress that there is value in experience:

"As a rookie candidate, I underestimated the value of experience and seniority. I will not spend my entire career in Congress, but I will seek re-election in 2008," he said in a written statement. "There is unfinished business."

This will certainly provide grist for the Democratic mill during the 2008 campaign. Keller's announcement highlights the folly in signing pledges like the term limits pledge. During a Congressional campaign, candidates - especially newcomers to the process - are bombarded with pledges like this and, in an effort to secure "free media," often fall into the trap of making meaningless commitments.

The groups that circulate these petitions know the position that many of these challengers are in - short on cash and desperate for positive press.

It remains to be seen how this will effect Keller's re-election, but it should serve as a warning to new candidates - think carefully before you sign.

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