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Ideal Qualifications For US President  
User currently offlineSv7887 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1025 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3061 times:

Hi Everyone,
We've talked a lot about experience being important for a US Presidential candidate. I've been thinking, what really is an ideal background?

A few thoughts:

1) Military Service...I think it's important they have exposure to the military, how it works, and what it means to go into battle. This way they'll think twice before committing troops into a battlefield

2) Governor or Corporate Experience....Mitt Romney comes to mind here. He was highly touted when he ran for election in my home state of MA. He did ok, but nothing spectacular. He of course has a brilliant executive background, but it didn't seem to translate well.

3) Senate Experience...This time around we have two Senators running for President. The last President elected was JFK with pure Senate experience.

4) Wealth...Bill Clinton I think did a good job because he knew what it was like to be an "ordinary" American.

I regard Wealth as an insulator. It can't protect you against everything but even when something bad happens, it can mitigate the bad news somewhat.

Should we insist on our politicians being "grounded" in this manner? Or does it matter? JFK was insanely rich, but seemed in tune with the mood of the general population. I don't remember FDR's background. Was he wealthy or just an "ordinary" American.

Hopefully this thread won't degenerate into nasty partisan pissing contests. Let's try and debate respectfully.

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4125 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3050 times:

Ok some of my opinions...

Quoting Sv7887 (Thread starter):
1) Military Service

I think its important but not a deal breaker. A president can offset this by having experienced Sec. of Defense and be able to make the critical decision when presented with the options. Colin Powell was a good man, but it now seems like he was taken advantage of by this administration.

2) Experience is necessary but it is tough to define what constitutes "experience." This is why you have so much bickering. I personally believe that while the small towns in the US are so large and numerous, being in the government of more populated states gives greater experience when suddenly having to deal with the issues affecting 300 million people.

3) Spending some part of their lives outside of home: I don't mind if a president is from the parts of small-town America, but I prefer at some point in their lives, that they spend time in a large metropolitan city. Whether or not people agree, large cities are diverse both ethnically, socially, and economically. I feel that a president spending some years (preferably their formative college/grad school years) there, will give them a broader view of America and the world.

4) Education: This one is very important to me. I think in this country we place too much of an emphasis of electing someone "who is just like me." I think it's the other way. We as voters are electing someone to to the job of leading the nation; shouldn't we want the best? Someone who exceeds even our own expectations as a highly educated man/woman? The way I was raised in my family, education is very important, and I would expect nothing less when choosing a president.

EDIT: At the end of the day these can be somewhat subjective. Sometimes you vote for the whole package when it comes to the candidate.

[Edited 2008-09-08 06:48:15]


"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
User currently onlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16866 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3048 times:

Here's my list:

1.) Education
2.) Some type of high level of Service, Senate or Governor, Secretary of State, Army General etc..
3.) Military experience (not necessary, but a plus)
4.) strong communication skills



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineSv7887 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1025 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3033 times:



Quoting Mdsh00 (Reply 1):
4) Education: This one is very important to me. I think in this country we place too much of an emphasis of electing someone "who is just like me." I think it's the other way. We as voters are electing someone to to the job of leading the nation; shouldn't we want the best? Someone who exceeds even our own expectations as a highly educated man/woman? The way I was raised in my family, education is very important, and I would expect nothing less when choosing a president.

An Excellent point, something I completely missed...I wonder what experience would be optimal. A scientist, engineer, or the typical MBAs we see these days?

Anyone have a psychology background? I know there has been a ton of studies on the managing styles of these occupations.


User currently offlineSlz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3028 times:

It might come in handy is the future president of the USA has traveled or even better lived overseas; GWB had reportedly been out of the USA only a handful of times before he became president and the mess he's made of international politics can be seen as a result of that.

Ideally the next US president should have lived in Europe or Asia for a few years (not in a US military base, but really somewhere on his own) and as a consequence speak fluent Spanish, German or French.

But I'd already settle for anybody who has already been to more than 5 countries and has a basic notion of any foreign language. Everything is better than an idiot who hasn't been off the American continent, thinks Latin is the language spoken in Latin America and doesn't know Slovakia and Slovenia are not the same without a briefing.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 977 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3019 times:

1. Good looking
2. Straight
3. White male
4. Married to a hot wife
5. Conservative
6. Thinks Europe is overrated










I keed, I keed  Wink


User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7780 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3002 times:



Quoting Mdsh00 (Reply 1):
4) Education: This one is very important to me. I think in this country we place too much of an emphasis of electing someone "who is just like me." I think it's the other way. We as voters are electing someone to to the job of leading the nation; shouldn't we want the best? Someone who exceeds even our own expectations as a highly educated man/woman? The way I was raised in my family, education is very important, and I would expect nothing less when choosing a president.

I think it is, but at the same time our current President is a Yale undergrad/Harvard MBA educated person with prep school thrown in for good measure. Not sure if GWB's educational pedigreed has paid off as one would have hoped.

The two candidates both have fairly impressive CVs too. USNA and Columbia/Harvard Law are nothing to scoff at. But in general most of our Presidents have had some fairly high level educational credentials for their time. In the modern era typically an IVY of some sort or one of the military academies. LBJ is the only major exception that comes to mind.

I would want somebody who is capable of broadly applying their education and being able to think critically and see the complexity that is out there. Not just become ideologues.

Quoting Sv7887 (Thread starter):
1) Military Service...

I wouldn't disagree with that, however with military service becoming less and less common it will be harder to find candidates with that experience. In the case of McCain I really wonder what his experience as an officer in the US Navy in the 1950s and 1960s as well as being a son of an admiral really offer him today in understanding the needs of the current military, the needs of current servicemen and women, and the needs of current veterans. I think an individual that makes a serious attempt to understand these issues in the current context may be of more value than somebody who served many years or decades ago.

Quoting Sv7887 (Thread starter):
2) Governor or Corporate Experience

In regards to gubernatorial experience.... I do think it is great experience for a chief executive, but in the current political climate unless they are superstars governors are not getting the national exposure needed to raise the money that a Senator gets. Not so sure on the value of corporate experience to be honest. There are plenty of bad corporate executives out there to be sure. And I do not fully feel that the corporate model can be ported exactly to the public sector. Ultimately I would change this to leadership experience. This does not necessarily mean being the guy at the top, I think having a diverse resume of experience here matters.

Quoting Sv7887 (Thread starter):
3) Senate Experience..

I might just change that to legislative experience. Take that as you wish. But I think that somebody who aspires to be President should have some understanding and appreciation for the process of law making.

Quoting Sv7887 (Thread starter):
4) Wealth

Not so sure about this to be honest. But generally speaking most Presidential candidates have been of some means... or have had the ability to generate the money necessary to run for office. As long as it does not prevent them from understanding issues facing everyday Americans across all SES levels then I don't see it either as a plus or minus.

Quoting Sv7887 (Thread starter):
I don't remember FDR's background. Was he wealthy or just an "ordinary" American.

FDR came from a very wealthy background. Certainly far from an ordinary American. But for whatever reason he was very a tuned to the needs of the common man.

Quoting Sv7887 (Reply 3):
I wonder what experience would be optimal. A scientist, engineer, or the typical MBAs we see these days?

We see a lot of MBAs and JDs in the halls of power these days. Don't really think that is a bad thing. Though I would be inclined to think that in the process of making laws a JD may be of more value than an MBA. Certainly I think the criticism of business schools is louder than of law schools. A lot of group think and fads going on in MBA programs. While people may not like lawyers an education at a top law school is certainly pretty robust and diverse. I think somebody with a background in the physical and life sciences would be interesting. Though in general I think anyone with a good background in the liberal arts and is well read should suffice. Perhaps a philosophy major.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3592 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2995 times:

My first priority is that the candidate not be a lawyer.

My second priority is that the candidate not be a lawyer.

My third priority is that the candidate not be a lawyer....

Do you see a pattern here? I prefer someone who has had a real job, not a leach on society.


User currently offlineJM017 From Jamaica, joined Jun 2002, 1227 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2961 times:

The office of the President (and Vice President) shall be limited to persons who:

1. Have confessed to an extramarital affair
2. Have avoided military service
3. Have admitted to recreational drug use

Having illegitimate children and prior convictions are plusses.



"It's okay to cheat, if you just really don't like to lose."
User currently offlineN174UA From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 994 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2939 times:



Quoting JM017 (Reply 8):
The office of the President (and Vice President) shall be limited to persons who:

1. Have confessed to an extramarital affair
2. Have avoided military service
3. Have admitted to recreational drug use

Having illegitimate children and prior convictions are plusses

Now I know why Bill Clinton was so perfect for the job....and why Jimmy Carter is one of the biggest failures of all. Many of our other presidents of both parties have met your qualifications as well.

As for the degree....the degree doesn't make the person. Case in point...GWB. I think that someone with a decent education (state school or private school) that has had a wide variety of work experience, held various leadership roles at different levels of an organization, can show increasing levels of responsibility and demonstrate success in each of those levels, and one who has traveled the world would be ideal. Communication skills are critical, as the President is highly visible and watched nearly all the time. As for military and legislative experience are beneficial, in that the President must understand the workings of each in order to be effective in working with Congress and acting as Commander in Chief.


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