What qualifications or characteristics do you think a president should have? Which of the recent presidents, if any, have had these qualifications or characteristics? What qualifications or...

What qualifications or characteristics do you think a president should have? Which of the recent presidents, if any, have had these qualifications or characteristics?

What qualifications or characteristics do you think a president should have? Which of the recent presidents, if any, have had these qualifications or characteristics?

Expert Answers
rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think a president should be flexible. By this I mean he should be willing to compromise, and to consider a broad range of solutions to different problems. Ideologues do not make good presidents, in my opinion. I am not suggesting that presidents should be willing to surrender their core beliefs, but that they not be willing to allow party dogma to dictate their decisions. I think many presidents have been this way, even if their public personas suggested otherwise. Others, though (and I think this was particularly true of our last president, especially in foreign policy) appeared less likely to deviate from what they regarded as some sort of revealed political truth. 

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For me, trustworthiness and honesty are the foremost personal traits I expect to find in a U. S. president. Certainly, some of our most recent presidents--particularly the Bushes and Bill Clinton--have fallen far short of expectations in this regard. Though he was one of our weaker presidents, I found Jimmy Carter to best personify these personal traits, and I wonder if we will ever elect a president who can look his constituents in the eye and tell the truth instead of resorting to political doublespeak (or, in the case of Mitt Romney, out-and-out mistruths).

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like post #4, I place the highest importance on intelligence, but would actually use the word "wisdom" instead. Any leader, but especially the Commander in Chief of the United States, needs to be well-read and experienced in many things. But he or she also needs to be able to choose advisors, make decisions, problem-solve, and know what to say and when, or what not to say and when.

All of these things can be summed up as having wisdom. 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think that we can really gauge trustworthiness in candidates so I just don't see how we can elect people on that basis.  I would like to see a president who is really good at building consensus among people in Congress.  I fear, though, that this is practically impossible because our current political climate is so poisonous that it is hard to imagine a president who was not hated by the other party.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A president should be intelligent. I think Obama fits the bill there.  The job of a president is so complex that someone of limited intelligence could never do it satisfactorily.  Intelligence is not just measured in degrees.  A certain amount of business acumen, tact, and streets smarts is needed too.