Well-to-do Presidents- good or bad?

Okay, it’s no secret that presidential candidates tend to be well off, to say the least…

Is this good or bad?

Good- the president will understand money, and its uses. He’ll also be better connected, and understand social situations better than, say, someone from rural Pigfarm, TX.

Bad- he has no understanding of what it’s like to be poor- how can someone who grew up a millionaire understand what it’s like to eat ramen noodles for dinner every day, 'cause that’s all you can afford? Also, having had lots of money growing up, and never wanting for necessities, does he understand the value of hard work as much as someone who’s been doing whatever job is available, just to make ends meet?

So which is better? I can see both sides, but… I grew up somewhat poor, and I don’t believe W empathizes with those intimately familiar with poverty.

All other things being equal, is it better for the Prez to be wealthy, or one of the “little guys”?

This is really more of a Great Debate, but as long as it’s over here in GQ, let me respond to your question with a fact.

Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy grew up wealthy. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan grew up in considerably less comfortable circumstances.

The only president who really grew up in abject poverty was Andrew Johnson. The worst any other president could manage would be considered would be middle class or lower middle class.

Andrew Johnson was illiterate until he was an adult I believe.

Heck, Clinton didn’t have any real money until the missus started getting better gigs with her law firm.

Off to Great Debates.

You know, the biggest reason behind Clinton beating Bush the Elder was situations like when George walked into a supermarket to show he was “a regular person”, saw the scanners at the checkout and said, “They have those now?”

People as a whole don’t really care how much money a candidate has or is making, just where it came from, or how much it separates the candidate from the average person.

I don’t think it matters much before they are made President, but I think we should pay our President a lot more money than we do. A billion dollars a year would be a miniscule portion of our budget, and make the President a lot harder to corrupt, and might encourage more people who aren’t power-hungry career politicians to make a serious run.