So, what should we look for in candidates? What are the things that should guide our choices when we are picking an ideal candidate?
William Frank Buckley, Jr. gave us some guidance when he advocated the now famous “Buckley Rule.” The rule is “Support the most conservative candidate who is electable.”
This rule is very helpful to me. But I need a little more detail. So I use the following criteria.
Look for someone who you agree with. Think about what a person's position on an issue tells you about their beliefs. Racism is a bellwether issue for me. For example, if a candidate can somehow support racism it shows me that they have a fundamental flaw in how they value human life. Another bellwether for me is abortion. If a candidate does not understand the value of every human life, they how can I trust them to make decisions that will impact thousands, if not millions of lives.
Can this person do the job? Do they have the necessary background in leadership, accomplishment, and handling the pressures of public life?
- Character / Temperament:
Character is the mainstay for leadership. How can you tell if a candidate has good character? Look that those closest to them. Their relationship with their family and friends will give you an idea of their personal stability. The other question is will they function well in office? I know many wonderful people. They might be well qualified to do many things. But the question here is whether or not they are capable of dealing with the pressures of public life. Not everyone is.
- Are they able to win:
- Do they understand their audience and can they connect with them?
- Do they have access to the resources necessary to win? (Are they able to appeal to high dollar donors?)
- Can they inspire people to work to help them? (Does the base believe in them?)
- Can they catch the wave of history? Some people cannot tell what is happening in history if it hits them in the head with a brick. Someone with clear vision can see what is happening, and ride that wave.
I hope this is helpful to you. What do you look for in a candidate?