The most memorable moment from the most recent Republican debate was when New Jersey Governor and former federal prosecutor Chris Christie relentlessly criticized Florida Senator Marco Rubio as not being ready for President. Christie ironically criticized Rubio for rehearsing and repeating his talking points.
Christie argued that executive experience will help a future president “solve problems” rather than simply giving speeches about problems. The idea that simply being a governor makes you qualified to be President is wrong. For example, Ronald Reagan was a great president, while Jimmy Carter–who served as the 76th Governor of Georgia–was a lousy president.
The same goes for congressional experience. Most people consider Abraham Lincoln to be our greatest President, and Lincoln was a one-term congressman from Illinois. However, being a member of Congress doesn’t qualify you to be President of the United States, either: Barack Obama was a member of the Senate, but Obama being a senator has had no meaningful link to his performance as President.
As Rubio rightly pointed out in his exchange with Christie, Obama’s left wing worldview is the problem. However, something that both Rubio and Christie missed is that is possible to be both a left-wing fanatic who wants to knock America down a peg or two (or ten) and an incompetent at the same time.
Nor does being an “outsider” mean you are qualified to be President. Part of the rationale for supporting candidates like Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney is or was the fact that they all ran successful businesses, and that they therefore know how to create jobs and better manage the federal government. However, I doubt that many conservatives would say Bill Gates, George Soros, or Mark Zuckerberg deserve to be President simply because they created business and have made lots of money.
There is no true qualification to be President. Nothing can fully prepare a person for the responsibility of having roughly 7,000 nuclear warheads at your disposal, commanding history’s greatest military, the media onslaught, or navigating Washington’s politics. What makes someone a good presidential candidate is the polices they seek to implement, not the title before their name.