How to hire a President

Office of president elect

In 2016, the country will have an opening for a new president; a single slot to be filled. Currently, there are a lot of applicants who will eventually be pared down to two candidates. How are we going to evaluate them for the job when there are no rules, no checklists, to guide some 250 million voters in the selection of our president?

We all recognize that the presidency is an immensely difficult job; perhaps the single most difficult job on the planet. It will take a special kind of man or woman to deal with, in a satisfactory manner, the multitude of challenges that they’ll face. In fact, that term “satisfactory” may be one of the most difficult aspects of the job; how do we define “satisfactory”? How will we measure success or failure?

Usually when someone is hired to fill a position, there are specific requirements of the job that can be measured. Periodic reviews provide an opportunity to compare an employee’s performance against what is expected and to help the employee recognize what needs improvement. But a president’s “job” is so much more difficult to define. So many events are unique; many (if not most) come with challenges that have never happened before.

We’ve never had a single unified job description for the presidency that defines exactly what skills, traits, or experience are necessary to help voters select an individual to do the job. If we were to create one, it would likely contain criteria that no one individual could hope to achieve – except perhaps a former president.

The political parties have a major impact on who the eventual candidate is and therefore they’re vetting the field of applicants according to their own criteria – and what they’re looking for isn’t necessarily what the ordinary voter would prefer.

Today, most entities depend on a Human Resources department to create job descriptions and identify the skills, experience, and education that indicate (at least on paper) that an applicant is a likely prospect for a job. Once HR analyzes the applications and culls out those who don’t fit the specifications, the qualified applicants can be interviewed in person and a final decision can be made.

And this is where we really screw up the traditional HR hiring procedure.

Think of the country’s voters as being 250 million individual Human Resources departments, each of us defining our own qualifications that we’ll consider when selecting an applicant for our party’s candidate for the presidency. That has got to be messy, right?

Each of us has a single vote – one vote – at least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. How each of us determines who will get our vote varies widely and is based on anything from the candidate’s race (as in 2008 and 2012) up to and including, name recognition, gender, religion, and physical attractiveness.

That is the subject of this treatise.

Over the coming year or so, the applicants vying to be a party’s candidate will be “interviewed” by the voters through political advertising, speeches, interviews, etc. and based on our individual criteria, each of us will decide who we’ll vote for; let’s say that we’ll vote for Candidate A.

But why did we choose Candidate A instead of Candidate B?

I’m glad you asked.

I’m writing this to illustrate my own personal metamorphosis. I readily admit to an evolution over the past couple of years, with that change becoming more solid over the past few months. I’ve changed my tune. I’d like to think that I’ve evolved.

After witnessing Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, I’ve come to the conclusion that the single most important thing that must be evaluated in our next president is ideology.

President Obama is a perfect example that illustrates why ideology is the single most important aspect of a presidential candidate’s qualifications. There is little that Barack Obama has accomplished during his six years as president that I agree with. He is a polar opposite to my personal philosophy in every way and I’ll be glad when he’s gone. All of his other qualities pale in comparison to his political perspective.

What would his previous experience, education, or achievements matter if his ideology is so out of sync with mine?

It’s my belief that a president doesn’t need a genius-level IQ; any reasonably intelligent individual will suffice. I know that some might argue that point, but consider this: a president has almost unlimited access to the most brilliant minds in any discipline. He/she doesn’t need to be knowledgeable on every subject; there is simply so much help available.

For another piece I wrote, I counted about 60 individuals with the title of “advisor” among a list of the Obama White House salaries, so he/she can ask questions or request studies from any of them as well as other experts in the private sector. Most “experts” would be honored to provide advice to the president (paid or unpaid).

In other words, the president need not be an expert in any field; he/she has an army of advisors and consultants who can be relied on for research and assistance to support making decisions.

This also holds true when drafting legislation, preparing budgets, developing foreign relations strategy, etc. It’s not necessary that the president be expert in those areas so long as he/she can call on others who do have the necessary expertise to conduct necessary research and provide factual information.

The president is primarily a judge, an arbiter making decisions.

I’ve determined that I want MY president to be infused with conservative values, a genuine love of the United States, and a commitment to our Constitution. The combination of those traits becomes my number one prerequisite for selection and a weakness in those areas is reason for rejection.

I used to think that a governor would make a better president than a Senator simply because a governor had the executive experience of managing a state. I used to think that a first-term Senator was too inexperienced in national politics to be considered because a rookie simply couldn’t get things done.

But after seeing how Barack Obama has run roughshod over the senior Republican leadership of both the House and Senate (complete with their 20-year veterans), I no longer believe that to be a requirement. Even with all of his legislative inexperience, his lack of managerial background, he accomplished a lot – all damaging to the country in my opinion, but his inexperience didn’t stop him from doing immeasurable harm to our United States.

I’ve changed my tune; ideology and judgment now trump everything else.



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9 Responses to How to hire a President

  1. I.R. Wayright says:

    I think you can safely eliminate any candidate the democrats could ever field.
    That leaves us with the republicans and I have already narrowed that field down to one. Heck, I might even spot him a few bucks.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Unfortunately that’s true. The D’s have embraced liberal values at the top and the “Regan Democrats” (assuming that they still exist) don’t have any say in the party’s nominee (sound familiar?). Like you I.R., my list of one is a short one too and I sent him some bucks on day two of his campaign.

  2. Uriel says:

    Interesting subject Garnet. plus, we need a “political lie” meter. Because most politicians who run rarely stand up to promises after elected. In O’s case though he did–we will have a new change to government.

    • Garnet92 says:

      That’s true Uriel – I’ve lobbied for and written about the genuine need for an accurate truth meter, In fact, here’s a link to one called, “How the Truth-O-Matic Came to be.”

      In the absence of such a device, all we can do is compare his/her statements to their history. If anyone had looked, Obama never excelled at anything, didn’t stand out in any position, had never taken a hard stand and then defended it, there was nothing in his background that should have indicated that he could be trusted.

      • Uriel says:

        Very true. Plus the “unbiased” media refused to talk or let others talk about his past or connect to his communistic or Islam viewpoint. They even made sure to talk about and photo him at the church where many Christians attend. Can’t remember which one. Only Fox was brave enough to talk about and film his radical minister. Who with in days was dropped as O went to a true Christian church. I think it is the only time O ever went to one

  3. Kathy says:

    Wow – a job description for the POTUS? That’s a concept we could have used a couple of hundred years ago, eh? I’ve harped for years about our horrible vetting process that’s in need of standardizing.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your combination of attributes we want to see in a candidate, but I still think a governor could do as well as a senator in this job, since it’s a new position for both and neither one has prior experience as a president.

    One of the biggest problems, as Uriel pointed out, are the campaign promises they make. O talked a good talk – good enough that millions of sheeple bought it, but he didn’t walk the walk. We have to figure out which one of those candidates will really back up that talk, once they clock in.

    Fortunately, this time, we have some good choices and some excellent ones who all seem to fulfill those qualifications.

    • Garnet92 says:

      I essentially agree Kathy – except if I gave the impression that I’d PREFER a Senator, I didn’t intend to do that. All things being equal, I’d prefer a Governor, but that presupposes that “conservative values, a genuine love of the United States, and a commitment to our Constitution” are equal between a Governor and a Senator – in that case, I’d prefer the Gov.

  4. CW says:

    I applaud you for not only possessing the open mind to adjust your thinking, Garnet, but also the honest character to openly discuss it. I, too, have changed my thinking on a lot of things over the years and I like to think that’s because I get a little wiser as I age.

    Our thinking is a product of many outside forces. The second-hand forces are reflections of other people relating information to us as they see it. The first hand forces come from our own observations of events as they unfold before our very eyes. When we are younger the second-hand forces make up much of our perception of the world because we lack first-hand experience. As we grow older we are able to confirm or adjust our perceptions based on what we observe, but only if we possess the open mind to go there. We also are better equipped to judge which outside forces we should let influence us.

    I think your conclusions about what we need in a POTUS (conservative values, a genuine love of the United States, and a commitment to our Constitution) are spot on. When you look at that simple list of job requirements it’s not difficult to understand why Barack Obama failed so miserably from the patriot’s point of view.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Thanks CW. As usual, a thoughtful pithy comment. You’ve captured the definition of wisdom nicely in your second paragraph and I would only add one thing (and you did allude to it), that we are also better equipped to spot a probable lie than younger, less experienced folks.

      Perhaps that’s why Obama lost the over 65 vote in both of his elections? In addition, he only won by one point in the 45-64 demo in 2008 and lost the 45-64 demo altogether in 2012. So Obama really didn’t fool the “mature” voters, only the less experienced ones.

      It’s those damned whippersnappers that elected Odingbat.