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8 Important Qualifications to Become President of the United States of America

Author:

Eric Coggins has degrees in political science, global management, and global organizational leadership. He teaches international business.

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton: Is Either One Qualified?

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton: Is Either One Qualified?

This article seeks to facilitate a conversation. The minimum requirements for becoming the president of the United States of America are outlined in Article II of the United States Constitution. Those minimum qualifications include:

  • being a "natural born Citizen" (this phrase is not defined in the Constitution but has been interpreted to include someone who was born in another country to either one or both parents who hold US citizenship),
  • being at least 35 years old, and
  • having spent at least fourteen years total of residence within the US.

What other qualifications (meaning life experiences) would you like to see a candidate have on his or her résumé to be deemed worthy of consideration for the American presidency? What kind of vocational experience is best suited for the job? What educational level? What kind of volunteer service record (if any)? What about previous political experience? Should they have spent time in the military?

What do you think? Let's have a conversation about the best qualifications and life experiences needed to be an American president.

#1 Proven Character

Should a potential president of the United States have an unimpeachable character? How important should proven character be as a prerequisite for the presidency? All human beings are flawed, and it is likely that presidents will have to make alliances with at least some others who don't share their personal values. Still, how important is it that a candidate have proven character?

Proven Character

#2 Political Experience

The American presidency is a political office. The man or woman who commands from the Oval Office must be able to negotiate with other politicians in the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as foreign dignitaries and leaders. This person will be the leader of the free world and must be able to walk the tightrope between conviction and compromise. More than that, he or she must be able to work the room (or the telephone) to advance America's interests. How much previous political experience do you think a candidate should have to successfully carry out these responsibilities?

Political Experience

#3 Business Background

The president of the United States commands the largest economy in the world. Even so, the US economy continues to lose market share as compared to other developing markets such as China, India, and Brazil. Some economists project that China will surpass the US in real GDP by as early as 2016 and in total GDP by 2030.

Given the United States' role in the world economy, do you think a candidate's résumé should include a background in business organizational leadership? Should the candidate demonstrate success in business?

Business Experience

#4 Educational Background

What type of educational background should an American presidential candidate have? The president must read large volumes of legislative data, keep up with economic conditions, and have a continuously updated working knowledge of science, environment, and the economy, and remain actively aware of the world at large. He or she must have awareness and foresight to understand the prevailing conditions both domestically and internationally.

Given the amount of information the POTUS must process in order to make decisions about complex matters of domestic and foreign policy, what educational level do you think is best suited for the American presidency?

Educational Level

#5 Military Background

The president's first constitutional duty is as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. He or she must understand the role of the military, the capacity of each division, and come up to speed quickly in terms of military strategy. How much prior military experience do you think a candidate should have in order to be effective in his or her duties as Commander-in-Chief?

Only one of the last five presidents (George H. W. Bush, decorated as a WWII combat pilot) had any real military experience (although George W. Bush trained for a limited time as a reserve). If you think military experience is needed, what level or amount of experience should he or she have attained?

Military Experience

#6 Volunteer Community Service

The president is America's top public servant. We assume he or she serves for the betterment of the country and its citizenry. In most cases, ordinary citizens can also impact their neighborhoods and communities as volunteers. They will serve as volunteers in little league or soccer, PTSA members, school aides, and other community-related positions.

Should the occupier of the Oval Office demonstrate a love for the country and an ability to inspire others to join in the work of betterment? To what extent should a candidate for the American presidency have given his or her extra time as a community volunteer?

Volunteer Community Involvement

#7 Foreign Affairs Background

Some political pundits and experts argue that American presidents play a larger role in foreign affairs than domestic ones. Accordingly, they argue that the person in the Oval Office should focus on international or foreign policy. His or her position as Chief Diplomat coupled with his or her position as Commander-in-Chief makes wisdom and expertise in foreign affairs and foreign policy a must. If so, how much prior foreign policy or foreign business experience should a candidate for the American presidency have to be effective?

International Experience

#8 Overall Leadership Experience

Of course, more than anything else, the president of the United States is a leader. In fact, the person in the Oval Office has been referred to as "the leader of the free world" and the "head of the earth's remaining superpower." The American president commands one of the most (if not the most) important positions on the planet. So if a person aspires to the American presidency, how much leadership experience should they have on their résumé?

Leadership Experience

Who Can Run for President?

Questions & Answers

Question: Should a candidate have to release financial reports and tax returns for the last 10 years? Should a candidate also provide health records for the past 5 years?

Answer: It seems reasonable that candidates for president should be fully transparent with their financial records and health records.

What qualities have we left off? What about wealth, morality/religion, or other prerequisites? Please join the discussion!

Mary Husser on September 10, 2020:

a PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA needs to be investigated for monetary issues and any tax evasions or illegally using donations , and needs to disclose all high corporate donations 2yrs prior to running for President. Every person/politicians should be investigated and be able to review all persons /politicians tax returns/donations all incoming funds/gifts etc..........

Tamiru Tiguh Inika on July 05, 2020:

It is official that President J. Donald Trump is going to win the 2nd term because his first term experience shows that he ranks top at creating jobs and he took care of the most vulnerable lower class by providing pay check and food while they took care of their children at home during Corona stay home times. Above all he abide by the God's rule in promoting social life. He created more than enough good paying jobs for those who wants to work. May God Almighty bless USA & its beautiful people.

ROBERT REID on June 20, 2020:

Candidate should not be cognatively impaired/

Kris Espy on June 04, 2020:

You have written a really important article here with a lot I think the majority would agree with.

One thing for sure, whatever the Democrats were thinking when they stuck Biden in this race, they just literally gave Trump the win. The poor old guy is lost in space. I keep waiting for Nancy Pelosi to jump out and scream, "April Fool!" First debate with Trump, and Joe might as well go home and just take his meds.& stay there!

al on February 17, 2020:

u guys smart

nia on February 01, 2020:

hi love the effect on everuthing continuuem oing your work

FlyQuinlan on January 29, 2020:

Many of our laws were written over 200 years ago should be revisited to ensure that they still apply to the current state of the things. IJS

Ed Zudzyn on January 07, 2020:

One nation under God! Must believe in God.

ali on December 08, 2019:

nice post.....

Sheldon C. on July 26, 2019:

A background check; earned security clearance; no legal charges, subpoenas, etc., no tax fraud or evasion, etc.; under any current or past investigations; CONTACTS WITH ENEMY NATIONS. ETC.

ANYTHING THAT PERTAINS TO A NORMAL U.S. CITIZEN TO GET A JOB.

The Next President Of The United States on June 14, 2019:

2024 I will Run For Office

Vikkim on June 01, 2019:

Being able to pass a high school American and World History test.

Sunil on May 08, 2019:

I would say whatever qualities this President has that is making huge differences in the economy, listening to people on the ground, staying in touch with the peopl

lisa on April 15, 2019:

President trump needs to take it easy on taking too much ax payer's money. I JUST PAID $4,000 THE FREEKIN IRS! This is really ridiculous.

Lee Christine Roman on April 08, 2019:

Very interesting responses from your questionnaire. I would guess that most of the respondents were from the Red States. I feel the folks from the Blue States would require less of the candidates. This is only my perception from living in Red States and talking with people who object to rules and guidelines in many cases.

Margaret LaRosa on April 03, 2019:

Unfortunately, our current President has none of the qualities I desire in my President.

bradmasteroccal on April 03, 2019:

What would stop him?

Chanecia Woods on April 03, 2019:

Hi guys could ted cruz run for president or not?

Chanecia Woods on April 03, 2019:

Hi guys Can Ted Cruz run for president

Maxine on March 01, 2019:

Needs to be truthful.

BradMastersOCcal on February 20, 2019:

Can you apply these 8 criteria to the dozens of wannabe Democrat presidents and predict who will win?

israel on February 20, 2019:

none of this was needed nobody needs a Phd to know what the issues are in the world all you need is morals and common sense

Precious on January 29, 2019:

Our forefathers decided the qualifications to be The Commander and Chief (President) of The United States of America so what makes anyone think they know better? Washington is about POWER only! We don't seem to have any common decency or manners anymore at all. You do not have to like The President of the United States of America at the time then vote him/her out BUT until then he should be treated with RESPECT! No one should be in an elected office over 2 to 4 year terms and the out a term to make sure our country keeps progressing instead of just making a living off being power hungry and nothing gets actually accomplish. I think someone that qualifies with no experience should run and start from scratch. I don't believe they can be hated any more than our currant President. I personally worry for my children's future but I still have some fight in me left so please understand I am sure the haters will have something to say but I still BELIEVE in our President! It's not over yet & 2020 is around the corner so I pray for some kindness and decency over the next couple of years.

BeBoBob on January 28, 2019:

Presidential candidates must be sufficiently vetted, but 44 wasn't. He refuse to explain how he got a Conn. Social Security Card number, sealed his records again just prior to leaving office, lied about being a constitutional law professor and the list goes on and on (not enough room here). He was a fake and glad he is gone.

Concerned about Trump and his actions and attitude on January 01, 2019:

the above questions asked in the survey should be formatted into a formal application to run for and become president. The answers to the questions, should be formatted and provided to the american public before the voting takes place.

Our current president does not have any idea what's going on in the world, or he would not act and handle himself in the manner he does.

He is an embarassment to our country. Can't wait to see him go!!!!

Eleanore Ferranti Whitaker from Old Bridge, New Jersey on December 14, 2018:

For most parents of young children, the MOST important qualification to become president is to be a leader children can look up to.

So when any candidate plays that "It's all okay because A,B,C, did it" children follow that example at home and in school.

Choosing a candidate isn't always about adult voters. It has all the necessities for consideration as the Preamble to the .S. Constitution states purposefully, intentionally and without political bias:

"We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, Insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America."

So, how is it we have enablers and fence sitters all ready to neutralize commonly understood words? Take for example the word "militia." While there are those who love to reinterpret that word to mean it's okay to play Rambo on public streets, they ignore the other references to that word in the Constitution that clearly states that Congress has to power to call up and pay for the "militia."

That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reinterpretations of the commonly held rule of law perpetuated expressly to keep a society from chaos, mayhem and disorder.

Yet, we allow lawyers today to abuse laws which result in giving criminals license to continue their lawlessness. Yes. The Constitution provides for due process of law. It doesn't provide for bending laws for criminals as a legal defense strategy. Then we wonder why laws no longer have sufficient bite as to reduce crime?

In order for any candidate to be president of our great country, they must not just know the laws, but respect them. They must also understand that our government is balanced on the axis of 3 separate but equal branches. NO president is the CEO or employer of government employees. Presidents appoint. They do not hire on our tax dollars.

Government is not a corporation and the Great Republican Experiment to try to turn it into a corporatocracy has failed miserably.

The proof of this is the deterioration of voting rights brought on by a party for whom winning is all that's important.

The worst possible candidate for presidency is one who does not work solely for country. Not ideology. Not party. COUNTRY.

Kevin on December 11, 2018:

Religious and moral character this is why Trump is failing he doesn't have these qualities at all and his just being wealthy is not enough it makes him to over the top and catering to his own class of people only on that level which is why he gave the tax cuts that affected only the rich which is why his Republican Colleagues won't say a word against him, very sad day in America. His base won't see those tax cuts and their the ones willing to jump off of a cliff for him and commit horrible crimes because they are so emotionally involved.

jacob peacock. on November 29, 2018:

what about 3 required ways to be president

Tbyrd18 on November 07, 2018:

Certainly the ability to communicate effectively should be a requirement for a presidential candidate.

Deborah on October 17, 2018:

Who was paul bunyon , Who was Jesus christ both acomplished there purpose all un vacinated .our pioneers were healthy good fresh foods no mercury needles in there bodies ,to name afew George washington etc.we need organic children, there emotionally balanced & great human beings we need mentally stable leadership.for the love of our children &country..

Deborah on October 17, 2018:

Take away same sex marriage , so children will except there gender and avoid deseases and know the normal function of every body part our president should establish that in our schools and homes teach our kids to pray verses antidepresion meds that are harmful phycalogicly & physically. And be thankful for who they are ,excepting themselves ,untill god comes

Josephine on October 17, 2018:

public ofice should be run by puritans likeour forfathers .also parents should have rights to vacinate or not ,i wasn't vacinated nor my 8 siblings were all fine .jesuschrist came along way he d

Deborah Perloe on October 02, 2018:

The qualifications to be president of the United States are shockingly short sighted. Although it is hard to evaluate objectively, a candidate's character and personality must be proven to make sure he/she is emotionally and intellectually able to do the job (he should undergo a psychiatric and medical review) and understands the constitution and how the government is supposed to work (he/she cannot make personal decisions without the checks and balances. The president must not be a felon and should have no ciminal record that involves violence, fraud or tax evasion, and discrimination toward any sector of the population. He must reveal his tax and business records. He must have an advanced education, either as an attorney or a political scientist. He must have experience in negotiation and the ability to solve problems that are of concern to citizens here and in the global community. If we had stricter standards Trump would never be in office.

Jack on September 24, 2018:

The president needs to pass a securities background text like everyone that wants to work in the goverment.

I was denied a job because I filed bankruptcy once.

Lois St. Cyr on September 23, 2018:

I do love Trump because God is love and he wants all of us to love even our enemies . Trump's problem is he need attentions and to get it, he has to pretain to be whoever makes the loudies noise . He is a follower and not a leader . He need to be on top and better to feel good about himself. We do have to love him the way he is and God will do the rest . A lot of people need attention . First one has to love God ,themself and than others to accomplish anything . Peace to Him !

.

David on September 19, 2018:

Nice

Jim Phares on September 19, 2018:

Should be a christian.

Chandler Clary on August 18, 2018:

We should start grooming a person from the time they are born to become the "Leader of the Free World"!

Geebee on August 09, 2018:

in order to accept nomination and/or run for the office:as

1. No pending criminal court cases

2. Make tax returns public; disclose financial holdingsas

3. Pass same test aspiring citizens take

4. Pass U S history test (at least senior in high school level)

5. Take psychiatric exam as well as regular physical exam

6. Have a record of public service

7. No record of any violent crime, hate or racist speech within past 20 years

Razzak on July 30, 2018:

Very Useful article. Thank you. You can visit here for more articles like this. http://www.creativedesignbd.ml

TheMistakenPresident on May 16, 2018:

Bakari, take a visit to Venezuela to see how well your socialist ideals are working out.

Bakari Akil on April 23, 2018:

Religion, wealth and status should not have a deciding affect on who should be president in the United States of America. In 2020 we need a president who will work for the people of our nation and our allies. We need peace in our universe from hate, deception, racism and class eletetism. We need our next president to be an American common citizen.

Platform should support universal healthcare, full employment education, educational loan protection or forgiveness (same as bankruptcy) universal basic income for all citizens, plutocracy form of democracy scale down representative government power over its citizens.

Valoria valoriawestry70215@gmail.com on April 21, 2018:

Do the president of the United States of America have to be married

tasha on April 18, 2018:

i hate d.trump

Brad on April 13, 2018:

What country do you people live in?

---------------------------------------

#5 Military Background

The president's first constitutional duty is as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. He or she must understand the role of the military, the capacity of each division, and come up to speed quickly in terms of military strategy. How much prior military experience do you think a candidate should have in order to be effective in his or her duties as Commander-in-Chief?

Only one of the last five presidents (George H. W. Bush, decorated as a WWII combat pilot) had any real military experience (although George W. Bush trained for a limited time as a reserve). If you think military experience is needed, what level or amount of experience should he or she have attained?

Clinton avoided the draft

Neither Obama or Clinton served.

And GH Bush was also the head of the CIA and his military experience proved to be useless. so this qualification is not important

Ma on April 13, 2018:

Donald Trump is not fit to hold the office of President. His moral character is deplorable. He's crass, conniving, and a coward.He has no respect for the office he holds. Using vulgar language and threats towards anyone who disagrees with him. He's a spoiled brat who wants his way, someone should give him a baby bottle to stop his whiny behavior.

Yeet on March 29, 2018:

Imma be Trumps son

Alicia on March 15, 2018:

im going to be future presdient plz vote.

Rewj on March 12, 2018:

out of the blue from the street to the seat pay attention my fellow Americans we are in dire need of Extreme Makeover from the Constitution to the Supreme Court justice system including the House of Representative Congress including the Senate again in dire need of Extreme Makeover parable Old Testament New Testament old America new America

private on February 12, 2018:

whatever happened to the civil Society!

the civil society it's without any room for error, "the heart of the nations". There's been presidential candidates that have talked about how free his society would be once they sit on the oval office, and I will quote an actual president that once upon a time he said “we do not have a really free civil society and once I become president I will make sure we have a free civil society".

lest mention a Few things our governments have done so we could have a free civil society: the creation and practice of the Coercion, the courts have no time to waist, if anybody it's on the public stand, all they have to do it's create an act of Coercion, no needs for attorneys, lawyers courts or juries why to waste time?. once the coercion order it's dictate they will place the person (whether innocent or guilty) on jail. As a very important note the dictionary give the following meaning to the word: Coercion: is the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threats or force. It involves a set of various types of forceful actions that violate the free will of an individual to induce a desired response, for example: a bully demanding lunch money from a student.

What about our legal system and the proposition that all men are innocent until proven guilty? I believe that the coercion it's contrary to a pure and just legal system. many nations have taken away this system out their courts as it represent a threat to freedom; it happens to be that if desired by the Governing party they can place anybody they want on jail: including the opposition, only by dictating an act of coercion against their opponents.

another great step our government has taken to ensure a free society it's the creation of the preventive police...the preventive police instead of persecuting real criminals and or real threats to society, they expend days persecuting good citizens, waiting for them to commit a crime. It's a shame to see how good individuals been criminalized by this system, but the preventive police still waiting...making everyone guilty before they even commit any offenses whether it’s real or imaginary!

all this reminds me of a movie called "The Minority Report"

Can a person be accused by because someone else, if this person think and or believe he will commit a crime, without any proves or facts just mere imagination? or worst be incarcerated because someone else believe he will do something wrong in the near future? back to reality! Now, we will talk a little bit more about all the good things our government have done to create a free civil society....

More highways, with more tolls. Nowadays it's very easy to move around "we got big roads" that takes us wherever we wanted to go...and with more tolls, more taxes can be collected, which means more money to our government, isn’t that nice. We are indeed a very small country and we have more tolls per squared miles than all of the country’s in this planet, it has become a luxury to travel, or to move goods, they have develop all kind of emergency and road assistance to assist who? the rich and the people who have money, because for the poor traveling inside our country have become a luxury we can not pay!

when I first thought about Writing this article, a few words came to my mind. Words like, militarism, communism, fascism and other similar but then I thought "no that's not my country, we are a free civil society". Think twice……..

The following words are intended as a food for thought any resemblance with actual events in our country could be a coincidence

Brad on December 12, 2017:

Apparently based on the continuous decline of the US from the 1970s through 2016 these presidents and congress did a real poor job notwithstanding any of these 8 credentials. It seems that being politicians worked against the country and the people.

The proof is in what they did or really what they didn't do. And they didn't stop the decline of the US. And in 2008, the US economy collapsed. So much for the 8 criteria.

sivasubrahmanyam shatdarsanam from India on December 05, 2017:

I liked this article.The efforts made by the writer to take the readers in favor of the candidate of his choice may or may not materialize. But, what I think is Mr.Donald is the right candidate that the U.S needs in view of the present situations prevailing in various countries of the world. This is the right time he assumed the office. His efforts and decisions in protecting the U.S in all spheres is really commendable.

Alexa Rain from egypt on November 19, 2017:

Great hup.

Sweedney todd on November 14, 2017:

So trump isnt fit HA KNEW IT

Ken Burgess from Florida on October 28, 2017:

This was interesting, it makes me want to do a study on the experience and education levels of the previous 10 or so Presidents, and then consider their performance.

The two Presidents I find to be the best spoken, articulate, and motivating since the TV/Current era are Kennedy and Reagan. Even today, I find I can sit and listen to a Kennedy speech and find it more insightful and inspiring than anything I have heard from any President in the last 30 years.

It wasn't age that gave him his wisdom or character, it wasn't his education level that gave him his intelligence and ability to communicate his ideas and intentions.

He had military service during war, he spent most of his life after that in politics and had little business background, so, how did the economy and businesses fair under his short time as President? Does that matter?

Sustainable Sue from Altadena CA, USA on October 22, 2017:

Great way to use polls, ecoggins! I'm taking a tip from you, if that's alright.

Tina on October 18, 2017:

Simple - no excuses, pass 100% test that any immigrant has to take for citizenship, preferably w/other candidates at 1st public debate - this would clear up a lot of above questions

rricci on September 30, 2017:

Tommie, I had a brother that treated me the way you described how your father treated you. Funny thing is, he died at 54 (10 years ago) probably because of his alcoholism and just a couple of months ago, I outlived him....HA HA HA!

Do I miss hin? Hell no!!!!

Larry W. Fish on September 16, 2017:

A very interesting article indeed. I have my thoughts about what is important to me. In my opinion a birth certificate and tax returns should be released by anyone running for president or vice president. I also think that anyone running for those offices should have served in the military. To be Commander-in-Chief I feel it is an important qualification. Several times lately draft dodgers have been elected to those positions and I think it is very wrong. I feel that a president and vice president should have some political experience. I have a lot of other thoughts but those are the most important to me.

Shirley Jones Fuller on September 14, 2017:

Religion is not important but it is good to know they believe in a higher power, but not satan. A president must have significant, moral codes and represent the people in their best interests for ALL with no discrimination. It is unconstitutional. As for Trump, his pardon of Arpaio showed no concern for the law that he broke, nor for his activity with the clan. It was a sorry day for the world when that b-----d took office.

Endy Noble on September 03, 2017:

Ecoggins,

I really enjoyed your presentations in this article.

But I've problem with some of the polls.

I believe experience shouldn't be measured by number of years. Experience, a relative term should denote quality not quantity.

Example: A person may work at a task for 20 years and may not be as good at it as someone who did 5years.

Something like

Highly experience

Moderately experience

No experience, should have served better in my opinion.

Thanks anyway!

You did a great job!

wgrj on August 14, 2017:

35 years old to young 50 70 years old

walter glenn on June 29, 2017:

a patriot that loves his country and fellow man

zyan on May 06, 2017:

How i became a president of us

tommie on April 25, 2017:

i wish fathers knew what influence they have influence they have on their children. my fathers nicest day was when he was not beating me or my brothers. his speech toward me and me brothers was you will never amount to nuthing you are worthless and why dont you walk in front of the horses so they can kill you . most of my brothers are alcoholics .

bradmaster on April 19, 2017:

The background to pass at least the criteria for getting a Top Secret Clearance. This is more of a vetting process than a qualification, but it has never been done. The president gets the nuclear codes, and we shouldn't let that happen without a thorough vetting process.

helen on February 22, 2017:

must have both a physical and mental evaluation

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on December 20, 2016:

Thank you Rich for your comments. I too support the constitution and do not believe that extra qualifications should be added. Accordingly, I changed the wording in the opening paragraph to be a little less confusing. I qualified the term "qualifications" by adding the parenthetical (meaning life experiences) and changed the term "should" to "would you like to see a candidate have." I hope that makes my intentions more clear to future readers. Thank you again for your helpful comments.

Rich on December 19, 2016:

I support the constitution and the constitution reads:

Qualifications for the Office of President

Age and Citizenship requirements - US Constitution, Article II, Section 1

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

Term limit amendment - US Constitution, Amendment XXII, Section 1 - ratified February 27, 1951

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on December 17, 2016:

Thank you Joe for your comment. I can't really tell if you read the article or not because I acknowledged the constitutional minimum qualifications in the first paragraph. In actuality Article II states that there are three qualifications not two, the two you mentioned as well as living in the US for 14 years. Yet, I think it is safe to assume that most people do not elect a person just because they meet the constitutional minimum requirements. Most people are looking for someone with a certain combination of life experiences which they think make him or her "qualified" to be president. That combination would vary from one person to another or one group to another. So this article asks us to use our imaginations a little bit and think of types of life experiences which we think would make a person "fit" or "qualified" to hold the highest position in the American federal government.

Joe on December 15, 2016:

Whoever wrote this article needs to go back to grade school. There are ONLY two pieces of criteria which QUALIFIES a person to be President.

1. Natural born citizenship

2. At least 35 years of age

That's it!!!

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on November 05, 2016:

Thank you Mary for your extended comments. When I first wrote this article four years ago, I was thinking about vocational experience. Except questions about Bill Clinton's private life before the 1992 election, character has not been an issue in presidential elections. This election has been sadly unique in that regard. I very much appreciate your comments.

Mary on November 04, 2016:

I forgot to add on my post. I am voting for Trump. He at least made me feel he was for the people by having a grass root campaign donation and not an elitist campaign donation. He may have done inappropriate things, but it was not on government time or threaten the security of our nation. And he is a good businessman that knows how to wheel and deal. Let's hope if he gets to the White House he will do justice and play honorably by his name. I think his family will be his conscious.

Mary on November 04, 2016:

This was an interesting survey. Interesting in that " character" was not one of the requirements. I know we, as humans, have our flaws, but I think a persons character should be a very important trait as a requirement for President. We are taught to judge a person by his character. Character tells a lot about a person. I would want to see a comprehensive background check added to your requirement survey. A person running for office would have to be willing to subject him/ herself to a comprehensive personal scrutiny check in all the dimensions of his life, such as : financial, criminal, social, family, community,personal, business involvements, spiritual... And anything else along these lines. Kind of like a FBI investigation check. Thorough. I don't think being a politician or a lawyer should rank a person more qualified, or even, be a qualifying requirement at all. I would think the opposite. I would agree that a person has to have a high level of business acumen in order to run a balanced budget and to address the economy. As we can see, none of our presidents have had a business mind, or they haven't implemented nor cared to use it. ( lol) I think character is very important. Our president needs to have integrity and honesty. How else does one give him/ her control. If I don't trust a person, I don't give him the keys to my car. Director of the FBI, Comey,seems to have it:) I think a person's acumen for culture and religious differences would be of value, too, in order to use appropriate judgement in situations abroad, and at home. The involvement in Syria is a good example. Enjoyed your survey.

Katie on November 04, 2016:

I enjoyed

UnKown on October 03, 2016:

Who do yall plan on voting for

ricardo on September 20, 2016:

this article is very informative

LOL on September 02, 2016:

Why are there so many ads? Otherwise I like this article.

Deb Hanes on August 12, 2016:

Great column...too bad government doesn't care about ant of this!

Rex Cottrell on August 12, 2016:

In addition to the listed requirements the following should be added.

1. Felons should not be eligible to run for POTUS or VPOTUS.

2. A TS background investigation should be accomplished.

3. Be required to disclose current and past 5 years of tax returns.

Mr painter on July 22, 2016:

A presidential candidate has to show a high degree of honesty and fairness when dealing with the interests of the US the most influential country in the world it needs to be tough in his decisions but at the same time show compassion for the rest of the world this are characteristic of the United States of America it needs not to be SELFISH and EGOCENTRIC. and does not have to hide anything that would be important to Citizens.,

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on June 14, 2016:

Thank you bradmasterOCcal for your extended comments. Indeed, it seems the bar has been set quite low for politicians in general. Your comments show why I wrote this article in the first place that is to show that this is now a more complicated world and the United States needs to promote national leaders that have at least a fair understanding of each facet of the nation and its place in the global community. I personally lived abroad for only five years and have no military experience but I could have told President George W. Bush that invading Iraq was a bad idea including why and what the likely results would be. We are seeing those results played out now. You have to understand the mentality of the people forged by their culture in order to anticipate how they will respond to a given situation. You are right political experience should not be the sole or even main criteria for being President.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on June 14, 2016:

Thank you Sue for your comments. It seems Donald Trump has a degree in economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Wharton is a highly respected business school. He also has business, and leadership experience, and some international experience. To negotiate the kinds of deals he has to build his business empire, he would have to have at east some informal political experience. He admits donating money to politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties. It is unclear what type of volunteer experience he has had, and he has had no military experience to speak of.

bradmasterOCcal on June 12, 2016:

The problem has been that we have had too many professional politicians and especially ones that are run by their party. Since the 70s these politicians have put the US in a decline, and it continues today. They have also caused us to lose every war that we have been in since 1898. Winning a war is not the same thing as a military victory, although we didn't even have that in many wars, like Vietnam.

So all the qualifications of these politicians didn't help the country or the people. Senator Obama, and Senator Hillary Clinton certainly didn't have any helpful experience.

My point is that US history for the last 100 hundred years has shown that the two opposing parties have failed to compromise, and instead they just try to undo what the other party did when they were in control.

This persisted through the beginning of this century, and hit the wall because gridlock has stunned the government. If we continue to use the "political experience" qualification criteria how can there be any positive change in the outcome.

Don't take my word, look at the US history.

The last thing that we need is more politicians pushed on the people by the two parties. The fact that Donald Trump is not being run by the republican party, and that he has not brought down the country as did the professional politicians, is a positive, not a negative to becoming president.

Politicians that have never had real jobs in the private sector, are like school teachers that never worked outside of academia.

Politicians don't understand or care about the private sector, and they live in a world where the federal government cannot fail by definition.

The federal employees are treated like the master instead of public servants. They are given the best retirements, health care, benefits, and job security.

These don't exist for the most part in the private sectors. Where most non union workers work under an At Will Employment Contract. They can be let go without even a reason, at the will of the employer.

The bar has been set so low by the endless stream of professional politicians that Donald Trump could only make things better using his independence, and not being a politician.

Sue on June 11, 2016:

Thank you for sharing this information, I would wonder how Donald Trump would score here, probable close to zero experience. My opinion on candidates for president, should be more qualified for the job, just like other professions. I work for the government in Agriculture and to get a job with my expertise, one must have a bachelor of science degree. So with the President, i think the candidate should at least have a degree in politics.....just saying.

Gabriel on March 02, 2016:

thanks this helped me so much with my report... don't ask...

DebHanes on January 10, 2016:

I would love a comparison on just how majority answers Obama has. I think he fails most! much or how little of any of the above

Brad on October 24, 2015:

ecoggins

Well done article, and it would be hard to imprint the presidents of the last one hundred years to conform to your list.

Political Experience

We can deduce from the presidential history of the last one hundred years, that this is the least useful attribute of the presidency. The reason that I say this is because we got to where we are today because all of our presidents had the gift of politics.

Some of the presidents were red belt politicians, but in the end you have to look what it did for the country or more importantly to the country.

Most of the recent presidents were Lawyers, and while you didn't mention that attribute of the presidents, it is also another less useful quality of the presidents. In fact, there are too many lawyers in congress as well.

I can submit a case that our country has been and continues in decline to a large part due to presidents that have political experience, and legal experience.

While those two attributes were useful to the presidential candidates they were negatively useful for the country and the people.

Business Background

It is also obvious from recent history that neither congress nor the presidency no matter what their formal business background has been able to positively affect the economy of the US.

So, I would say that having a knowledge of business while not a prerequisite for the presidency could be useful, but it would be better if acquired through experience rather than a formal business education. Formal education is academic, but actual experience is real world.

Military Background

A military background would be a plus, but a great leader doesn't have to be even engaged in a field to be successful. A great leader knows how to use the brilliance and expertise of those gifted in the field.

This would be a far superior attribute than say a career military person, because that person has been focused on a totally different goal and outcome, that would the president of the US.

Volunteer Community Service

This might be a bonus area, only to the extent of being able to identify with the people rather than the politicians, businesses, and the wealthy.

Foreign Affairs

Certainly a knowledge of the world, its countries, its peoples, and its problems would be useful to any president, and also someone in congress. But, once again, the better attribute would be to pick and utilize the true experts in foreign affairs, and use their knowledge to base the presidential decisions.

Overall Leadership Experience

Leadership should be the number one attribute for the presidential candidate. The amount, and success of that leadership experience cannot be quantified objectively, so the quality has to be judged by looking at the entire person.

What has caused the US to elect presidents that didn't do their best for the country, and the people is the political party. The democrats and the republican parties have been at odds since they were first created in the 19th century.

The goals of these two parties couldn't be more diverse. If both parties were on the opposite ends of a seesaw, one side would be totally up in the air, while the other party would be on the ground.

We need two parties whose goals are to put the seesaw in equilibrium. This has been a random, and brief transitional state for the country at best.

So my conclusion is that in reality, it won't really matter which person, and which party makes it to the presidency in 2016, as we only have to look at the history of the presidency to see how the country is in decline.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on November 04, 2012:

Thank you teaches12345, I appreciate your feedback. You are always so encouraging. Since there are so many facets to this subject, I think this will be a fun topic to flesh out even further and perhaps get it and keep it on the first page of the major search engines. Personality, speaking ability, leadership style are just a few possible add ons.

Dianna Mendez on November 03, 2012:

Great post here and very informative. I loved your polls, fun and challenging. Hopefully, we will see the best man win on Nov. 6th.

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