When Hillary implied that Bernie may not be qualified to be president and Bernie suggested that those that who do what Hillary has done are not qualified all hell broke loose in the political media looking for anything snarky to boost ratings. Policy positions are too boring to get eyeballs. But it brings to light about the qualifications to be president.
Technically, Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution states:
- No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.
All the candidates claim to be the most qualified. Their experience in government, business or something regarding the “establishment” means they’ve got the stuff. However noted presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin points out that qualifications don’t translate to a great presidency. She notes that James Buchanan was probably the most qualified ever, but is regarded by most historians as the worst. He was succeeded by a tall skinny guy from Illinois whose detractors said he didn’t have any qualifications yet turned out to be one of our greatest presidents. It is left as an exercise to the reader to make any comparisons to Bush 43 and Obama.
One could argue that Nixon had excellent qualifications and we all know how that turned out. Harry Truman, not really qualified but did some great things, like end WWII. Ike had no qualifications but kept us out of war with the Soviet Union. Ditto Kennedy.
I could go on and on but the point is that qualifications don’t indicate greatness. Ms Goodwin points out that it is temperament not qualifications that make a great president. So again it is left as an exercise to the reader to determine which candidate has the best temperament to be president.
President Roosevelt possessed a second class intellect, but a first class temperament.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes
The image is of Mt. Buchanan and Kootenay lake near Kaslo BC.