Here’s What to Look For in the Next President
Karen Hughes, former counselor to President George W. Bush and now a Communications Strategiest with Burson-Marsteller, laid out four key qualities the next President of the United States must have to effectively govern the country.
She was the lead off speaker here in Phoenix at Dairy Forum 2016, an industry-wide conference that brings dairy farmers and processors together hosted by the International Dairy Foods Association.
“These are the qualities I look for in a [presidential] candidate because I’ve seen the challenges and decisions a president must make,” she says.
- Good judgment. First and foremost, the next President must have good judgment because “the range of issues he or she will face is just vast.” Terror threats, budget and federal debt issues, immigration, health care and climate change are just a few of things the next president will face.
- Personal humility. The next President must be willing to reach out to experts to get the best advice available because he or she can’t possibly know it all. “We need someone who welcomes disagreement, but expects the truth” from experts and advisors, she says.
- Core convictions. The next President also needs a set of principles and core convictions that don’t waver. That will allow his advisory team and cabinet secretaries to move legislation and policy forward in a way that meets expectations and is consistent. It also allows global allies and adversaries to know what to expect from an American administration. For President Bush, for example, there were four core tenants: Limited government, local control, strong families and individual, personal responsibility.
- Ability to make tough decisions. Once policy and issues are debated, the next President must be able to make tough decisions and see them through. This can mean making decisions that literally could be life or death, and at the very least, affect and change peoples’ lives.
The problem with this election, she says in a somewhat facetious and yet serious way: “There are too many Republicans running, and not enough Democrats.” So voters will have to make some difficult choices.
“In the end, it all comes down to a choice among candidates, and perfect is not on the ballot,” she says.