What qualities, experience, and accomplishments are important to you in a U.S. presidential candidate?
Josh Lim – PA, University of Warsaw 2012 Graduate, Ateneo de Manila University 2014 Graduate, Bio – Politics is a game of relating to people, of relating to those around you and bringing yourself to a level where you are easily accessible. The presidency is no different, and I certainly would like a ‘perfect’ President who would be someone I can easily be friends with and can easily relate. I think many of us who are politically inclined would.
For many people, the ideal President is someone who resembles them politically. But alas, we don’t live in a perfect world, and we have to choose which values are most important to us in order to get to the right candidate.
For me personally, this is a difficult exercise since I can’t seem to find the right candidate, but I’ll try anyway.
This election, if you ask me, will be a very interesting one, not least of all because we’re spoilt for choice as to whom we want, but also because the election has become something so critical to how we’re going to move forward as a nation that any vote, no matter how outlandish, becomes important.
It probably isn’t a stretch to claim that this election, especially after eight years of having a non-white man at the helm, will be one of those defining moments in American political history, and we are the agents that can make that happen.
Since we are so spoiled for choice, I think it’s only right to set parameters as to who I want for President. But what are they?
First of all, I strongly believe the ideal President of the United States must, as a matter of principle, have a record of navigating through an increasingly multi-polar world. We don’t exist in a bubble, and I don’t think we should attempt to live in one.
We must engage our global partners responsibly—take charge in issues where our leadership is needed, but we must also listen carefully to what the rest of the world has to say and not simply brush them aside. I would definitely appreciate a candidate with strong foreign policy credentials.
Second, the ideal President must strive to remain bipartisan. We live in a time of great political polarization, but at the same time, we can’t afford to be as divided as we are now given the many threats we face as a nation.
We need a President who can overcome those divisions, and at the same time, we need to do our fair share by rallying behind our leaders, no matter how far away from our political beliefs they might be. A candidate with a strong track record of consensus and bipartisanship will have my vote.
Finally, the ideal President must be committed to our shared political values. Despite our diversity of belief and ideology, I still believe the people of the United States are tied by shared values of liberty, freedom, equality and justice.
Whoever is in office must uphold them no matter what his/her political beliefs are. But at the same time, despite the existence of these values, the ideal President must be able to listen.
No matter where we lie on the political spectrum, our values ought to count for something in the political process. The ideal President would sincerely try to take those to heart, and his/her record should reflect that.
As we enter another election year, I hope the next President will help steer the United States towards a better future—a future where I hope we all matter. It will be interesting to see who will be up to the challenge.
Nana Osei – SC, College of Charleston Student, Bio – This is a very interesting question as the public’s opinion of the President’s credentials can be very different. Personally, although assumed by many, I think the candidate must have a college degree and preferably a Master’s Degree in a subject. Secondly, I am a strong advocate for a candidate having held a political position either on Capitol Hill or an executive position within their state.
History has shown former governors, congressmen, and senators often make excellent presidents. Being a member of the legislative branch is a major plus, for the candidate will need to work extremely closely with that branch of government to be successful. I would not support a candidate that has never held a political position prior to their campaign.
For example, Donald Trump, an entrepreneur, just doesn’t have the political experience or tools necessary for my support. This also encompasses strong Republican candidate Ben Carson. He is a very well established doctor whom has gained Republican support, but he would also never receive my support, because he doesn’t have previous experience in politics. This is the most important factor for me, because a candidate without governmental experience will have a very hard time challenging the other party’s candidate who most likely has held a legislative position.
The qualities I look for in a candidate are the three adjectives I call the big three C’s. Consistency, charisma, and confidence are all qualities I look for in candidates and I need these for my support.
Consistency, which comes first for me, is the most important of the three. A president who is indecisive is a bad president. Staying consistent with their ruling and decision making is key. That doesn’t mean he/she never admits fault, but they must stay consistent on beliefs and what they stand for.
Charisma is the next quality, which is most important during the election. The candidate must be able to connect with the American people and bring a factor that makes them special. My perfect example of this in a president was John F. Kennedy.
Finally for me is confidence. Yes, to even put your name in the hat you must have some confidence. However, confidence in electing an executive team and potentially firing them is the confidence that is needed in a president. If the candidate doesn’t have the confidence to disagree with foreign powers or stick to their hard stance on an issue, they will not receive my support.
These three qualities along with a well experienced political background are what are needed to gain my support by a hopeful candidate of the presidency.
Paul Bremmer – Wash D.C., St. Bonaventure University 2012 Graduate, Bio – Decision time is almost here! In just a few months, Americans will have the chance to vote for who they want to represent the Democrat and Republican parties in the 2016 presidential election, and in November of that year, they will decide who they want as their next president. The qualities I look for in a presidential candidate are those I want a president to have.
First and foremost, anyone wishing to hold the highest office in the land must be proud of America. I’m talking about pride in our history, institutions, and culture. A president should revere America’s Founding Fathers and all the wisdom they passed down to us.
Respect for the Constitution is an absolute must, since the new president will have to swear to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” He or she must be willing to accept that the president does not have unlimited power, that we have a system of checks and balances and separation of powers. A good president should always put America’s interests first, not the interests of Big Business, any foreign nation, or the international community.
Second, a president must understand and be willing to confront the most pressing issues the country faces during his tenure. In my view, that means immigration and Islamic terrorism right now. I want a president with the courage to make decisions that may be unpopular with the mainstream media or certain segments of the population. Political incorrectness is a good thing if it’s done in service of the country’s best interests.
A president needs to be intelligent as well. This is necessary for him or her to understand the complexities of various policy issues and make the wisest decisions. Sure, the president is surrounded by advisors, but ultimately we need a capable executive, not a puppet.
I think it also helps if a presidential candidate shows signs of independent thought during the run-up to the election. Any candidate who sounds too generic is likely a part of the inside-the-Beltway establishment that will never truly change anything in Washington. But the ones who are voicing ideas the other candidates are not talking about are more likely to take bold action the country needs.
Arianna Mendez – FL, Florida International University 2014 Masters Degree, Bio – After winning our independence from England, the first inclination of Americans was to avoid a centralized authority and place most of the power in the hands of the states. National authority was limited by establishing a weak central legislature.
Out of this desire for decentralized government emerged the Articles of Confederation, our first governing document, but the realities of building a nation that faced internal disputes and international affairs led many to doubt the effectiveness of the Articles of Confederation. Out of this debate emerged the United States Constitution and consequently the American presidency.
As a nation, we place no greater responsibility on any other individual than we do on the President of the United States. The president is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, chief executive, chief diplomat, ceremonial head of state, leader of his/her political party, national leader, and the so-called leader of the “free world.”
As the leader of a political, economic, nuclear, and world power, the decisions made by the President of United States can change the course of history. From George Washington to Barack Obama, these 43 men (Grover Cleveland is counted twice as our 22nd and 24th president, because he was elected for two nonconsecutive terms) have made decisions with global implications.
As we start gearing up for the 2016 presidential election, we should start thinking about the qualities we are looking for in our next president. Who do we want to be the 45th President of the United States? Hillary Clinton? Jeb Bush? Donald Trump? Personally, I want to support a presidential candidate who has extensive executive experience.
The last seven years has demonstrated that governors make better presidents. President Obama’s naiveté and inability to work with Congress underscores the need for the set of skill sets perfected by a governor. We need someone who has had experience balancing a budget, understands the complex relationship between the chief executive and legislator, and recognizes grandstanding and rhetoric is no substitute for governing.
The United States national debt is $18.3 trillion and climbing. The labor force participation is at a 36 year low. In 2011, the United States credit rating was downgraded from AAA to AA+. ISIS is threatening to undermine the fragile democratic state in Iraq. Student loan debt is on the rise. The United States is ranked 36th in the world in education. And, Russia’s Vladimir Putin threatens to destabilize the peace in Eastern Europe.
We need decisive leadership with a clear vision that inspires faith in our allies and commands respect from our enemies. We need someone who can lead with conviction and help guide our nation to peace and prosperity.
Let’s make sure the 21-century is an American century!
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