I picked tomatoes from our garden as I thought about the upcoming local elections.
Later in the day, we’d be going to a fundraiser for Commissioner Ken Lawrence, who is running for Montgomery County Commissioner. Attorney General Josh Shapiro would be there to support Ken, his longtime friend. Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh, who is running for reelection and had held an event around women’s health the day before, would be there to support her fellow Commissioner.
Because I think Josh would make a great President someday, I started to think about the 2020 Presidential Election.
What qualities would I want in a President?
- Listens thoughtfully.
- Is someone who I learn from.
- Is smart and has experience with tough issues.
- Holds people accountable, often bringing out their best.
- Shows up, works hard, and is dedicated to service.
- Cares about humanity.
- Thinks independently and makes decisions.
- Is both effective and humble in the use of power.
- Believes in and understands democracy.
- Is a team player, not a single issue activist.
Candidates currently running
Looking at the NY Times list of who’s running, I wished there would be direct links to each candidate. But since there wasn’t, I googled the candidates and found their websites:
How I’m learning about the candidates
My plan is to review each platform on their websites (linked above), listen to their Soap Box speeches at the Iowa State Fair, listen to their debates, assess each candidate relative to the qualities I listed above, look at their past performances, and compare all candidates to the one person I am familiar with, Joe Sestak.
Why use one person as the bar for comparison?
Because I respect Joe Sestak and believe he’s experienced and capable of addressing problems, I’m using him as the initial benchmark in my evaluation of candidates. But you could use any candidate that you like.
The concept is to compare one candidate to another individually rather than try to just pick the best candidate from a crowd. For example, Sestak compared to Biden, Sestak compared to Warren, and on through every other candidate. Then repeat: Biden Compared to every other candidate. Then repeat: Warren to every other candidate.
And in this process of comparison, I hope to look at each candidate as an array of qualities, priorities and responses to various scenarios.
I am trying to approach this election with an open mind.
I haven’t made up my mind. But I’m not going to be a passive voter. When I go to vote next spring (as well as next month), I’m committed to knowing about every candidate on the ballot from both parties.
Next action step
My next step is to finish listening the Iowa State Fair Soap Box speeches. That’s about 10 hours of video alone.