January 15, 2007

Presidential Pool

Why does a presidential nomination have to come from such a small pool of politicians? For instance, George Bush Sr. was President. Then a few years later, when looking for a new president, they said, "I don't know. You think his son will do it?" Similarly, Bill Clinton was President. And now, "Hmm...maybe his wife can be President?"

Seriously? Out of 300,000,000 Americans, we're forced to resort to sons and spouses because we can't think of anyone else. What the heck? Why couldn't someone like Steve Jobs run for President? What experience does politics give you for running a country besides running a country like a politician?


Anonymous said...

On the first part, name recognition and perceived electability are key in the primaries, especially with the increasingly front-loaded primary season and the importance of money (donors probably don't want to throw a lot of it early at someone who doesn't figure to survive Iowa). Although part of it is perception. We were laughing at work the other day about a little-known congressman who was considering throwing his hat in the ring, but why should we be? For all we know about him (which is next to nothing) he might make a great president, but he's got no national name recognition, so he's automatically seen as primary fodder.

As to the second, well, it's tougher. I think it might actually happen if you get someone from outside the political world who inspires people's confidence and brings a wide variety of ideas to the table. We've had two businessmen run in the last two decades who attracted a decent amount of support, it's just that one came off as slightly crazy and the other focused too much on a single issue.

Eric Olsen said...

who's the other besides Perot, just for other historically-delinquent people like myself? I understand the name recognition thought, but how many people really knew John Kerry's name before he started running. And I'm talking general population, not political watchhounds?

Anonymous said...

Steve Forbes?

And, obviously, the next president must be a card carrying skull-and-bones member. Or something.

Anonymous said...

Yah, Forbes was the other one I was thinking of.

Name-wise, it is somewhat relative. Other than Joe Lieberman (whose vocal support for the war killed any chances he'd have), Kerry probably had the best name recognition going into the race for the nomination (certainly better than Howard Dean or John Edwards). This year just skews things with so many high profile potential candidates.

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