Why do so many smart and accomplished people want to waste their time?

It’s a bit ridiculous to see all the people who are running for lieutenant governor. There’s a rich donor and former ambassador, Eleni Kounalakis, who is running up the endorsements. There’s Dr. Asif Mahmood, a Pakistani Muslim immigrant who is running to stick it to Trump and support “Medicare for all” even though those are federal policies. (Have you considered Congress, Doctor?). And there’s the pride of West Covina (Go Bulldogs!), state Sen. Ed Hernandez. In addition, Kevin de Leon has a campaign committee for the office (though that seems to be a mere fundraising vehicle), and a lawyer and diplomat named Jeff Bleich is listed as a declared candidate.

All have surpassed me in accomplishment. Which is why I am far more suited to serving as lieutenant governor than any of them.

This is not a joke. The job of lieutenant governor is the joke.

I’ve made this point before, but it bears repeating: nothing good can really come of the lieutenant governor’s job. It consists of sitting around, waiting for the governor to leave the state or resign or die. You have a few meetings – with the universities and the state lands commission – and that’s about it.

There is no good reason for an accomplished, ambitious public servant to waste one second in such a job. Which is not to say there are no reasons. The big ones people take the job are to build name recognition and travel around and raise money for future races.

But that set-up isn’t good for the public—it means that whatever politician holds the job is raising money and being constantly compromised for whatever comes next. You can also get yourself into trouble with the meetings, as Gavin Newsom learned recently when a lawsuit by the state lands commission made news. I suspect that Newsom will encounter considerable criticism in the governor’s race because of fundraising he did as lieutenant governor.

The same thing will happen to all the ambitious people running for the office.

That’s why I’m clearly best choice for the job. I’ve never worked in government and have no interest in doing so. The lieutenant governor doesn’t really run anything, and neither have I. I should have the unqualified support of the gubernatorial candidates—Gavin, Antonio, John, Delaine, Travis, Rosie, Mr. Cox, and perhaps Tom-$$$$$, I promise I will never upstage you, will require no budget other than my own salary and benefits, and will follow your instructions to the “t” when you’re out of state.

I will never run for any other office. And if the governor left office, my first act of governor would be to resign the governorship so the president pro tem of the Senate could take over.

What would I do? The same work I do now. Lieutenant governor is the perfect job for a writer—we’re all looking for a no-show job so we can do a real work, and lieutenant governor pays better than my current gig. Newsom published a book during his tenure, which was the most lieutenant-gubernatorial action of his tenure. I think I could get a couple books done in a four-year term.

Of course, it may be that my approach to the office would lead to its elimination. And if that were to happen, well, my time in the lieutenant governor’s chair would have been a tremendous public service.

So memo to Eleni, Asif, Ed, and all the other pretenders; why not admit the truth, and clear the field for the person most suited to the job?