John Brummett is uneasy about former Attorney General Steve Clark’s quest to return to public office as mayor of Fayetteville, years after his felony conviction and efforts to turn his life around.

Redemption is a powerful and ingratiating story. But Clark may still be afflicted, in the way of so many unrecovered politicians, with acute neediness for the public validation and ego-exalting of public office.

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My observation over four decades of close exposure is that, generally, at the core, politicians share this unhealthy need for public acceptance, even adulation. For pure public spiritedness, I’ve seen more in police officers, school teachers and emergency medical technicians.

I’d personally feel better about Clark if he’d gotten the ballot-box dependence out of his system along with all the rest of it. I’d be more impressed if he’d taken up, oh, cabinet-making or driveway-paving.

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For the record, Clark says it’s out of his system.