U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has decided against running for the Republican nomination for president in 2024.
His reasoning is simple. Anyone can be president – but his two young sons only have one dad.
Sen. Cotton said that “family was really the only consideration” in his decision not to throw his hat in the ring for the 2024 presidential contest, Fox News reports.
“This is not the right time for our family for me to commit to a six-to-seven day a week campaign for the next two years,” Sen. Cotton said. “My boys are age 7 and 5. They’re old enough to know that dad’s gone and be sad about it but not old enough to understand the purpose and why it all matters and why the sacrifice is worth it.”
He then added:
I am pretty sure Republican voters can find another nominee, but I know that my sons can’t find another dad for the next two years.
“Over the next two years my 7-year-old will learn to hit the fastball and my 5-year-old will learn to read, and I want to be there to teach them both,” the senator added.
Sen. Cotton has served as a U.S. senator from The Natural State since first being elected in 2014. The 45-year-old married his wife, Anna, in 2014.
The senator left the door open to seeking the White House in a future presidential election. “We’ll make a decision about future races in the future, especially as my boys get older and understand more about why I do the work I do and what it means for them and for our country,” the senator said.
Politicians often get a bad rap for seemingly putting their election, and subsequent reelection campaigns, ahead of everything else.
In Federalist No. 51, written by either Alexander Hamilton or James Madison, the author under the pseudonym Publius wrote that men, because of our fallen human nature, are liable to corrupt entities around us and be corrupted.
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” Publius wrote. He then stated the following particularly famous passage:
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
One aspect of this is that frequently, politicians crave accumulating power and prestige above all else – often at the expense of their own families.
So, kudos to Sen. Cotton for prudently and thoughtfully putting the needs of his family above power and promotion.
As he wisely concluded, there will always be another election. But time spent with children, especially while they’re younger – that’s time no one can get back.
Photo from Getty Images.