As IREM gears up for our annual visit to Washington, D.C. (the Leadership & Legislative Summit convenes April 9 at the Omni Shoreham), it seemed high time to reflect a bit on the presidential campaign.
At this writing, the Republican field has narrowed to four while the Democratic race remains the same two-opponent tug-of-war it has been for weeks. It’s sadly obvious that much of the coverage has revolved around the gutter fight a few of the candidates have chosen to sink to, relieving them of the necessity to talk about anything substantive, favoring instead to chatter about body parts and makeup.
Of course, there’s nothing new in that. The mudslinging was once left to ghost writers, one of whom, representing Thomas Jefferson, wrote that John Adams: "was a rageful, lying, warmongering fellow; a repulsive pedant” and “gross hypocrite” who “behaved neither like a man nor like a woman but instead possessed a hideous hermaphroditical character.” I can just hear the writer of the Declaration of Independence saying, “I’m Thomas Jefferson, and I approved this message.” (Read more historical mudslinging, including nuggets from the Lincoln/Douglas contest.)
If and when issues really get substantive treatment, you can expect real estate to be in the mix, including such issues as taxes and incentives. But in NAR’s Voice of Real Estate video program, the group’s deputy chief lobbyist, Jamie Gregory, reminds us that despite all their bluster and blow (my phrase, not his), whoever grabs the brass ring won’t be doing it alone. They’ll have partners in the process, namely Congress. Which brings up the fact that this is a critical election year at many levels, including the Senate, where a swing-potential 34 seats are up for grabs—and all 435 House seats.
Which brings us to...us. Paraphrasing Voice of Real Estate host Stephen Gasque, staying engaged both as a citizen and a property manager is important. This is especially true as IREM lines up its Capitol Hill agenda (PDF). It falls squarely on all of us to cut through the rhetoric, the vitriol and promises to discern—despite their best effort to confound us—who can be truly effective, and who is truly presidential or congressional, however you define those terms.
A lot of what you hear before and after those few days in April probably won’t help much in your decision. But it will be entertaining.
See the IREM Capitol Hill Visit schedule and learn what issues we'll be taking to the Hill.
About the Author
John Salustri is one of the nation’s most respected writers in the field of Commercial Real Estate. A multiple award winner for excellence in journalism, John is the founding editor of GlobeSt.com, the nation’s premier news and information site for the commercial real estate industry. Today John is a freelance writer and editor, focusing on helping companies boost their industry presence through enhanced web and print content.
Photo Credit: © Ad Meskens / Wikimedia Commons