Term limits are great talking points during political campaigns, but after getting elected, most officials lose interest in them. National Democratic strategists looking to push Representative Lee Zeldin out of office have seized on his 2014 victory over the incumbent, Tim Bishop, as evidence of just such a flip-flop.
Thanks to the Vote Smart website, you can find a few choice parts of a Zeldin television ad that started on cable about three weeks before the election. In it, Mr. Zeldin says, “I’m running for Congress because after 12 years, it’s time for a change. It’s time to term-limit Tim.” It is not surprising that nothing about the ad shows up on the Zeldin for Congress site even though Mr. Zeldin has also been among the sponsors of an amendment that would limit House members to three terms. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is testing this as campaign fodder.
Last we checked, Mr. Zeldin was seeking a fourth term, Zeldin for Congress had more than $800,000 in the bank with more than a year to go before the election, and no sign of his getting out. His recent spending on social media and campaign consultants, as well as his website, makes it clear that he is not planning to give up his seat without a fight. Term limits? What term limits?