On choosing a presidential candidate in 2008

I do not care for many of the candidates at this point and I need to find one who I can listen to for more than 15 minutes without being hit with specious facts or other insults to my intelligence. In 2004, I wrote an earlier version of this post and it served me well in sorting out my choices for President.

I am not as well-informed about issues as I should be and I have heard only a fraction of the available campaign rhetoric. That puts me in the non-aligned voter segment that has to choose candidates by other means.

I choose a candidate as I would choose a friend, by his behavior and not by his or her party label.

I watch what he says and how he says it.
I watch how he conducts himself when frustrated and angry.
I watch even more carefully how he conducts himself when he is victorious.

When I see a candidate speaking, these are the things I looks for:

1. Does the candidate make sense?
2. Do I like the way he presents his ideas?
3. Does he set realistic expectations?
4. Do I feel I can trust what he says?
5. How does he behave under pressure?
6. How does he behave when he makes a mistake?
7. Does he address sensitive issues with emotion or with logic.
8. What proportion of his time is spent proposing solutions vs attacking other solutions.
9. Is he emotionally tough enough to stand up for his ideas in the face of extreme criticism.
10.Is he a man of integrity or does he give the impression he is hiding things?

Another factor that I consider is the people surrounding the candidate. A candidate’s real mission can often be deduced by who is supporting him and advising him.

The final decision I make is whether the candidate is strong enough to manage his associates and get the job done.

A candidate who caters to extremists of any stripe is not likely to produce programs which benefit the majority of citizens who keep this country going.

On the other hand, the candidate who attempts to please every audience is no better.

As of this moment, there is only one candidate I could support, based on my own personal observations. During the upcoming months, I hope to find more depending on what I observe of their behavior and their intentions.

You will undoubtedly have other criteria for selecting the Presidential candidate you wish to support. I would be interested in your thoughts on selecting a candidate.

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