Why do business people run for president? They just want to be loved

Caveat: Proviso of pitch for office is that business success precludes need for money

Seán Gallagher reacts as Martin McGuinness brings up the subject of a cheque on RTÉ’s The Frontline in 2011. Photograph: RTÉ

Seán Gallagher reacts as Martin McGuinness brings up the subject of a cheque on RTÉ’s The Frontline in 2011. Photograph: RTÉ

What possesses successful business people to run for president, or indeed for any elected office in the State? Presumably the same things that possess anybody else who considers it. They may have a genuine desire to “get things done” or to “make a difference”. This usually topped off with a vainglorious, and necessary, dash of ego.

Business people don’t run for office for the money: a prerequisite of their pitch is that they have been successful, and therefore don’t need money. Often, they don’t really do it for the power, either: the most senior people in business usually have as much direct power in their personal orbit as all but a handful of the top tier of politicians.

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