Basic Presidential Qualifications

I happen to be a Republican. But before arguing about political platforms, one might consider four basic qualifications for national office: to be smart, self-made, emotionally measured, and without known health problems.

Not so long ago, in a presidential election, both candidates consistently met these requirements. Whether you liked the platform of Bill Clinton or George HW Bush, you could rest assured they were both smart, self-made, emotionally measured, and without known health problems.

This was true, with a few exceptions, of candidates for at least the past century, but it changed with George W Bush. Here, for the first time, a presidential candidate was not smart or self-made, and had a known, serious health problem in the form of past alcohol and drug dependency. Is it unrelated that his presidency is considered by most in both parties to have been a disaster?

As a Republican, I actually don’t have a problem with most of McCain’s stated policies. The problem is that he is not smart (5th from the bottom of his class), not self-made (entered the Naval Academy on family connections, married into money, entered politics on monied family connections), not emotionally measured (famous temper — physically attacked another senator in 2006, at age 71), and not in good health (four-time cancer survivor, and won’t release his medical records).

This is simply a bad bet, no matter what your political leanings.

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