What Qualities Do You Want in a President?

I’m a bit late on this topic, but I thought it might be worth talking about the qualities the Ricochetti would like to see in an American President. As I’ve thought about it, I’ve come up with five qualities (in no particular order) that I’d like to see each president possess:

Principled Strategic Vision: I want a president who has the ability to understand long-term strategy (as opposed to only near-term tactics) and the willingness to develop and implement strategie…

  1. Keith Rice

    Great post, and I concur that Mitt would fulfill these areas quite well. In fact, it seems to me that he’s capable of just about anything he sets his mind to.

    I found his performance in the debates remarkable. He established authority with the 1st debate, but did not continue to lord his strength over his clearly over-matched opponent.

    Many people were upset that he failed to pound Obama into the ground, and he well could have, but Mitt was probably pulling his punches lest he run the risk of Zimmerman-Martin comparisons.

    After debate #1 there was no concern that he had to prove his strength, so he took some punches and ultimately made Obama look like a schoolyard bully.

  2. Casey

    I want a President who is:

    • Self-Motivated

    • A Rocket Scientist
    • A Pilot
    • Incredibly Persuasive
    • And has a  Sense of Urgency 

    Then I want him to build a rocket big enough to fly himself and Congress to the moon.  All in the first 100 days.

  3. tabula rasa
    Casey: I want a President who is:

    • Self-Motivated

    • A Rocket Scientist
    • A Pilot
    • Incredibly Persuasive
    • And has a  Sense of Urgency 

    Then I want him to build a rocket big enough to fly himself and Congress to the moon.  All in the first 100 days. · 1 minute ago

    Then what happens?  I suppose the cats take over.

  4. Casey
    tabula rasa

    Casey: I want a President who is:

    • Self-Motivated

    • A Rocket Scientist
    • A Pilot
    • Incredibly Persuasive
    • And has a  Sense of Urgency 

    Then I want him to build a rocket big enough to fly himself and Congress to the moon.  All in the first 100 days. · 1 minute ago

    Then what happens?  I suppose the cats take over. · 0 minutes ago

    First, we lend our surpluses to the moon.  Then the cats move in.

  5. Keith Rice
    Ryan M:

    Sometimes it’s just interesting to hear the subtle ways that even when they are pretending to not directly talk partisan politics, they are still actively campaigning for Obama.

    … as if their jobs depended on his victory.

    Charisma? Really? The sickness is deep.

  6. tabula rasa
    Ken Owsley: I’ll take the opposite approach.  I do not want:

    A liar

    A preener

    A bonehead

    Anyone with the initials BHO

    Anyone who listens to country music · 1 hour ago

    Ken:  I can agree with 1-4, but where are you going to get long-haul trucker songs to keep Dave Carter awake though the night if we eliminate country music?  Country music is conservative: it knows that love ends and the dog dies–it reflects the tragic view of life.

  7. Casey
    tabula rasa

    Ken Owsley: I’ll take the opposite approach.  I do not want:

    A liar

    A preener

    A bonehead

    Anyone with the initials BHO

    Anyone who listens to country music · 1 hour ago

    Ken:  I can agree with 1-4, but where are you going to get long-haul trucker songs to keep Dave Carter awake though the night if we eliminate country music?  Country music is conservative: it knows that love ends and the dog dies–it reflects the tragic view of life. · 24 minutes ago

    Edited 24 minutes ago

    Heck, I want my President doing the Watermelon Crawl through the Rose Garden!

  8. EThompson

    1. An abhorrence for debt and deficits.

    2-5. See above.

  9. Valiuth

    I would add to your list this. 

    Decisive: Acting with certainty and speed is one of the primary reasons an executive was written into the constitution. While it is important to be prudent and study a situation decisions must be take and made, and in a timely manner if they are to be expected to have any impact. This seems especially important in foreign affairs, but also in domestic negotiations. A person who is decisive is so because they know what they want, and they go for it. 

    Half of Obama’s problems I think stem from his inability to decide on what he actually wants. Which is why he is always forced to react to what other people offer him. 

  10. Frozen Chosen

    A winner

  11. Indaba
    At The Rubicon: 1. Respect for the Rule of Law

    2. Respect for the Will of The People

    3. Understanding of the true meaning of American Exceptionalism

    4. Knows how business and commerce actually works. · 3 hours ago

    Number 4. Small and medium sized businesses owned by one or a few founders or a family business. Romney absolutely gets the mid sized business With his private equity background.

    The economy must flow.

    It has taken me quite a few years to understand the Founding Fathers and how America was designed with an understanding of the nature of the human being. When Romney pointed out he js about the constitution and he chose to challenge Obama on his apology tour, he demonstrated loud and clear he understands America’s exceptionalism.

  12. Spin

    There are very few things I hate.  Grapefruit is one.  I don’t like almonds but I can understand how others do.  Grapefruit tastes like poison to me.  I don’t like R&B, but I can understand how others do.  Rap sounds to me like a bag of cats on the way to the river.  And country music?  It just makes me think of some guy sitting at the bar drinking his troubles away. And I don’t like that.  That’s just how I feel about it.  But I don’t really care if the president likes country music.  I was trying to poke someone with a stick there…

  13. jarhead
    C

    The number one character trait I want to see in a president is honesty and truthfulness.  Everything hinges on his character, or lack of it.

  14. Knell

    Inspired.  (Inspiring is nice, but inspired is better.)

    Truly humble.  (As opposed  to whatever is is that Obama does that makes some say he is humble.)

    Exemplary.  (Role-model worthy.)

    Safe.  (All this assassination talk bothers me.)

    Happy.  (He’ll  have a difficult job and I hope he can find  joy in it.)

  15. tabula rasa
    Ken Owsley: There are very few things I hate.  Grapefruit is one.  I don’t like almonds but I can understand how others do.  Grapefruit tastes like poison to me.  I don’t like R&B, but I can understand how others do.  Rap sounds to me like a bag of cats on the way to the river.  And country music?  It just makes me think of some guy sitting at the bar drinking his troubles away. And I don’t like that.  That’s just how I feel about it.  But I don’t really care if the president likes country music.  I was trying to poke someone with a stick there… · 21 minutes ago

    I join you in hating rap.  As far as I’m concerned, a love for rap should disqualify a candidate (yes, I know I’m an old bigot).

  16. tabula rasa
    Knell: Inspired.  (Inspiring is nice, but inspired is better.)

    I really like this one.

  17. Tom Lindholtz

    TR, that is a great list. Speaking ordinally, I’d make your last point the first point. I believe it is the most important. I recall many eye arts ago hearing someone say that what got Richard Nixon in trouble was that he valued loyalty above all other traits in the people around him.  If he had valued integrity above all else, Watergate would not have happened. 

    Integrity is the quality that develops when a person understands they are accountable. And understanding that you are accountable to God produces integrity of the highest sort.

    (Not necessarily, witness the priests and pastors who’ve had moral issues, but, generally speaking, the highest accountability will produce the highest integrity.) 

  18. Tom Lindholtz
    Ryan M: Interestingly, I was listening to NPR … Anyway – the character trait that they focused on (before I turned off the radio, anyway) was, no joke:  “Charisma.”

    Definitional. I can accept “charisma” as a critical quality if, by that, we mean “the ability to effectively persuade Congress and the American people; to cast a vision in an effective manner that makes others desirous of contributing to its success.”  

    If it only means “a popular media charmer,” then I’ve had my fill of that for a lifetime. 

  19. tabula rasa
    Tom Lindholtz

    If [charisma] only means “a popular media charmer,” then I’ve had my fill of that for a lifetime.  · 12 minutes ago

    Amen.  Hitler had a lot of charisma, and heaven preserve us from that.

    I don’t think Obama has genuine charisma.  I just don’t think true charisma comes out of a teleprompter.

    Being able to inspire people to do good or to sacrifice for a good cause is a wonderful attribute.  Ronald Reagan was inspiring, but not because he told us there was free gold at the end of the rainbow; he inspired because he reaffirmed the ideas of individual responsibility and ordered freedom.  Churchill inspired an almost-defeated people to hold the line, not by promising free stuff, but by asking them to sacrifice for something they knew was good:  freedom from tyranny.

    We don’t need any more snake oil salesmen.

  20. Clamor Undobad

    I agree with Knell that joy is required, although I think of it as being a happy warrior–Chris Christie comes to mind.  He clearly enjoys the battle.  We have a long fight ahead. 

    Your Principled Strategic Vision is also key.  Your example leads me to think you intend this mainly for foreign policy, but it’s just a critical on the domestic front.  I heard a story about Mitch Daniels refusing to push a piece of tea-party-favored legislation even though he supported it because he knew that Hoosiers had not yet been properly educated as to why it was necessary. 

    Also, the ability to communicate with clarity and grace is a pretty fundamental leadership trait at this point.  In a country that is supposed to be united by our founding ideas, we are in desperate need of someone (in a position high enough to talk past the media) who can give them voice in ways that are both educational and inspiring.  Reagan was a master at this. 

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