Running for the Oval Office

Let’s say you’ve just won the US Presidential election. You were only a Governor of TX, CA, or GA - as examples. Now, what do you know about running the country? What do you know about foreign affairs, etc? How do you know what decisions and agreements were made with other diplomats, for example? I mean…isn’t there some learning curve? Sure, you have advisors, but are they the SAME advisors that have been advising over the last few decades to keep abreast of things?

So, on day one in Office…where do you start to get up to speed? Does a US President go through some formal training, or something?

In short, how is anyone qualified to take on such responsibilities?

  • Jinx

Just like a baby, the office of President doesn’t come with an owner’s manual.

You’ve got the job, presumably you know what to do.

There would be some national security briefings by the appropriate agencies and the White House staff would orient you to your new home, but that’s it I imagine.

The President doesn’t have to be a genius, but he damn well better know how to hire geniuses. Any major candidate will have party resources and advisors he can call upon to help him appoint key positions, and even if he screws up and appoints someone who is clearly not qualified, Congress still has to approve.

In the 2.5 months between the November election and the January inaugeration, the President-elect can be brought up to speed fairly quickly.

Incidentally, the population of Texas (to say nothing of California) is larger than some whole countries, so being a governor from there would, if anything, show that you do have the basic qualifications to be a national chief executive.

But isn’t the governorship of Texas pretty much a ceremonial one with basically no hard decision-making? Is their someone from Texas to support or refute this? It has been my understanding the “real” chief executive position is the Lt. Governor of Texas.

I don’t know if Texas is an exception, but Lt. Governor is certainly not the chief executive office in most states. The Lt. Governor has a Vice President type position, and no one really cares about them.

I believe most of the power in Texas is in the legislative branch, so whoever controls the two houses there are the real powerbrokers.

I wouldn’t call the Governor of Texas a ceremonial position, but it isn’t the most powerful office. The Lt. Governor has the power in Texas because he presides over the state Senate. The Speaker of the House also has much power. Together, they control the legislation. The Governor of Texas can suggest policies, but he/she doesn’t have the power to drive the legislative process.

Now, the Governor certainly does have the power to royally screw things up. The Governor has veto power over most legislation. The current governor, Rick Perry, set a record for the most vetos in Texas history during the last legistlative session. Perry was actually elected Lt. Governor, but he ascended to the Governor’s Mansion when the last Governor moved to Washington. Perry’s opponent, Tony Sanchez, says “We didn’t elect him, we don’t have to keep him.” Some suggest that would be a good slogan for the next presidential election as well.