Our next president – what personal qualities should he/she have?

The Necessary Personal Qualities of a U.S. President

From: patriotupdate.com, by: Vern Wuensche, on: March 7, 2015, see the article HERE.

red-blue U.S. map 2016

The office held by any public official has an aura of glamour and power. And voters often unfortunately focus on that image when they vote for a candidate.

They should not.

Their view to the contrary should be based on the personal makeup of the candidate: his/her bundle of personal qualities.
I contend that every candidate for every office whether President or small town mayor should be based on four things:

  • a candidate’s values
  • his/her decision making skill
  • being right on the issues
  • having a spine of steel.

When push comes to shove, values are always the basis of good decisions, while skill in making good decisions comes from training and much practice. And being right on the issues requires using the common sense that most of us have. But even though one has these qualities in spades, without the toughness to always stand one’s ground they will matter little.

Values are what define us. Often they are shown by our faith. And how we exercise it in our daily living while we handle myriad difficulties whether they involve our finances, our relationships or our health. Or something else. We show the values we have by how we handle each of them one by one.

Skill in good decision making is usually learned. Those running an organization or a business can obtain a great deal of practice, and if they evaluate their own performance objectively, they can quickly learn from the results of their good and bad decisions. Over time, they will become quite skilled at making decisions to produce the results they want. A successful stay-at-home-mom running a household might be the most skillful of all at this. She must be disciplined and skillful in making decisions to properly raise her children, the results of which may not be apparent for a long time. And if decisions are not done well, all Americans will pay.

Being right on the issues is mostly common sense. It is using factual information—not emotions—to make decisions. And being aware of the difference between the two. It is using valid quantitative data to evaluate whether one approach is better than another. It is thinking of the long term benefit to America not the short term and immediate which often is harmful. It is thinking about other Americans rather than one’s own parochial interests.

Toughness in approach is not a quality one is born with. It is developed over time. One becomes tough only by having toughening experiences. This principle is in nature: The trunk of an oak growing on the rocky side of a mountain with little water is much tougher then the trunk of a banana tree growing in the fertile soil of a tropical rainforest. One develops callouses on the bottom of one’s feet by walking or running, not by sitting on one’s butt.

Toughening experiences can be of many types. Most are of the nature of financial, family, medical or business. It might be the indignity of always being short of money in a society that judges each of us all too often on that resource. Or it could be a divorce, difficult children, or a death in the family. Or it could be life threatening illnesses, or the continuing disabilities which made both Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Charles Krauthammer quite tough. Or it could be running a small business with the always difficult problems of cash flow, product quality, dependable and productive employees and where the temptation to cut corners to increase profits or to even survive is always present.

The more of these experiences one has over a longer period of time the tougher that person will become. Which is why all else being equal, someone older is usually tougher. Their years of life, if lived aggressively, would generally allow them to have more toughening experiences. It is often called wisdom.

Some might argue that some candidates who have aggressive and blunt personalities are born tough. But they are wrong. These individuals are handicapped by the insensitivity which generally accompanies that type of personality. And these individuals are rarely good at developing relationships which are essential for those holding public office.

As presidential campaigns begin, the amount of money each candidate can accumulate is the overriding focus by the media. Yet that money can be used to create an image of a candidate which could be dishonest and untrue. My hope is that today with the transparency allowed by our social media, voters will focus more on a candidate’s actual personal qualities rather than an advertised image which may or may not be valid. To all of our benefit.


I agree with the author on the four personal qualities that a good president should possess. All too often, we’ve elected a president who may have relied on a façade encompassing these qualities, but later, we find that it was just a false front. Our current president is the poster child for appearing to possess the qualities during the campaign, but since taking office he has fallen short on all but one.

He is deficient in the values component. He refuses to abide by the presidential oath of office he took on inauguration day. He refuses to recognize Congress as a co-equal branch of our government. He has made public promises to the American people – promises that he knew were false when he made them. In other words more to the point: he lied to his constituency, multiple times, and without remorse. His agenda is a personal one and is not based on what’s best for our republic, only what is politically expedient for him. Although he campaigned on transparency in government and bringing the races together, he has failed on both scores.

He came to office without any executive or managerial experience and with few successful decisions on his resume. His history over six years hasn’t shown any appreciable improvement.

Being right on issues depends on the perspective of one’s personal politics, but president Obama has consistently gone “against the grain” in his policies and appears to put little stock on the opinions of the American people. It’s been some time since he was able to achieve an average approval rating above 45%. His personal issues have not coincided with most Americans and he doesn’t seem to care.

Obama scores highly on only one quality; he is tough. He refuses to abide by our laws, the opinion of the American public, federal judges, even the Constitution. In fact, he operates more like a dictator than the president of a constitutional republic. On that one attribute, he is solid.

So, we can see that scoring highly on a single aspect of the four personal qualities doesn’t produce a president that is good for the country. Many citizens believe that the country is currently in decline. I maintain that it is due primarily to the policies and activities of president (sic) Barack Obama. I do hope that our citizenry will be more judicious when choosing our next president, we can ill afford to make another disastrous mistake like Barack Obama, the country may not survive.


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5 Responses to Our next president – what personal qualities should he/she have?

  1. Uriel says:

    Excellent piece Garnet. Totally agree. Obama came out of nowhere with few if any real accomplishments during his Very short time in Congress. This should have been a first clue. There were other more mature choices in the Black Congressional arena who should have been first to run. They may have not been my first choice but I wasn’t given any alternatives. Both camps fell down on chosing well as far as I am concerned

    Your list Is what should be first Not who spends the most. Ad agencies Should focus on these issues not who pays well. As we have seen donations are suspect period. When received, they should be published before the vote not after. Every penny accounted for.

    The candidate’s life, birth, and accomplishments verified prior to acceptance to run should also be published to prevent any shadow of doubt as to authenticity.

    That list is excellent. We can only do our best but even that is not perfect. It should be our responsibility to at least try for the future generations.

  2. captbogus2 says:

    All very true, Garnet, but folks vote for window dressing. I was in WestPac when Kennedy was elected. When I got home, at a party I asked an old high school girlfriend why she voted for Kennedy. Her answer? Because he’s so cool and handsome!
    And she was a bright student in HS.

  3. Kathy says:

    A personal quality I rank high on the list is moral fiber, but I suppose if a candidate has good values then good moral character is a given. That comes more naturally in people with a good Christian background.

    Another quality high on the list is patriotism. Whether it’s a mayor who’s loyal to his town or a president loyal to his country, it’s an important quality and factors heavily into decision making.

    Had O possessed a few of these qualities things could have been much different the last 6 years.

  4. Just Gene says:

    “The content of their character”

  5. Clyde says:

    Home Run, Garnet. Seems like anymore, the “rock star” factor is MOST important on the list. My 4 qualities one MUST posess, in no particular order, STRICT adherence to the Constitution, and the LAWS AS WRITTEN than govern our nation. The ABILITY to look PAST the detractors of the media, electronic, or print. COMMON SENSE. Without THIS, the rest are moot. HONESTY. Something we don’t see much of in our elected officials these days.