I try not to write bout the presidential election too early, or it can become a never-ending process. Oh to be English and have an election season that lasts a few months.
But here are a few early thoughts…
In some ways picking a President can be like choosing your dream date. When we are young we long for the movie star glamour of a JFK. A few years older we fall for the Southern charm with a healthy dose of the bad boy swagger of a Bill. Later we move on to the cool, intellectual hipness of Barack. Most of these relationships have turned out OK. Sure, there have been a few heartaches, and some tears, but all in all not too bad.
But, as a country, we are now over 240 years old. We are no longer a dreamy youngster or a rebellious teen who doesn’t need to think beyond our own bedroom or lunch table. Governing this country has gotten more difficult and more complicated. And we no longer have the luxury of governing in isolation. Decisions have global impact.
So it’s time to get serious. Its time to, at least for now, put away our stilettos and lace up some solid sneakers. It’s time to throw out the mozzarella sticks and eat a healthy salad. It’s time to shelve the fairy tales and open a newspaper. Its time to turn off reality TV and turn on the news. Real, unbiased news if you can find any.
It’s time to put away the tequila and…no scratch that, we may still need the tequila.
It’s time to elect an adult.
So lets say you are hiring someone to take charge of your third generation family business. What are you looking for? I suspect someone fun, entertaining or who just tells you what you want to hear isn’t at the top of the list. But what is?
I’d start with someone with experience. Would you hire someone to run your factory if they had no experience in manufacturing? What else do you want? I’m guessing someone smart, articulate and calm. No one wants to trust his or her company to a hot head or someone who talks without thinking. They should have a clear, realistic and detailed plan of how they will keep your company prosperous. Not just vague promises.
Lets assume the person running your company has to deal with employees, other business leaders and the general public. So you want someone who is comfortable with people who may not think like or look like them.
The government isn’t a dictatorship. Perhaps your company has a board of directors or a union. You are going to need someone who is persuasive, pragmatic and understands how and when to compromise.
You also want someone who reflects your company’s values of fairness, honesty and decency. After all, they are your face to the world.
So when you are deciding whom you want to run the country should you look for anything less?