Who should be CEO of the United States?

Published 9:55 am Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Al Arends, My Point of View

It is my opinion that there is one candidate who meets more of the qualifications to become the chief executive officer (the president) of our country than all the rest.

Al Arends

If we look at our Constitution, the role of the president is to carry out and execute the laws passed by Congress. He cannot initiate or pass laws, but he can veto them. However, Congress with a two-thirds majority can override those vetoes. He can propose laws and budgets, but it is up to Congress to pass them.

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Now, if you are going to hire the chief executive of our country, what are you going to look for? What are his qualifications? I believe that integrity is the top requirement. You don’t want to hire a person who you cannot trust. We have seen what happens to CEOs who distort the facts, cook the books and try to cover up the lies. Enron was a good example of this.

A second very important qualification for the CEO of our country is experience. Has the candidate for the position had experience in managing people, setting goals and objectives, hiring a good management team and working with and leading his team to accomplish his mission? He must be able to work with people who may disagree with him and still lead them to accomplish his objectives. These qualifications are not the same as those for a congressman, and it is why our senators and representatives have not historically been good presidents.

When I think of good leaders, I remember Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan leading our country when we had peace and prosperity. Not always did I agree with everything they did, but they were capable of working across party lines and moving our country forward as a world leader.

Moral character is important to me. Power and position can intimidate and a good leader does not use his position to take advantage of people. There have been good CEOs who have taken advantage of individuals, and it hasn’t ruined them as a leader, but it does leave a blemish on their record.

I have not seen a good CEO who does not understand finances. It is where George Bush failed us and our current president is doing a horrible job. All of us seniors like the drug plan implemented during Bush’s term, but it is a financial disaster. The short time that it has been in place has already created about a $15 trillion unfunded liability that our children and grandchildren will have to pay.

President Obama continues to pursue programs that are not paid for and if it continues, it will soon make us a second-class country and our children and grandchildren will not be able to enjoy the same standard of living that we have enjoyed. Do I believe our country can solve its financial crisis? Of course, but we first have to get spending and entitlements under control, then we will need to increase revenue to save our country from mediocrity.

A philosophy that is in tune with the majority of the people is very important. The voters who have a philosophy in the center will usually determine who wins the election. They often swing from conservative to liberal positions. Just think of one of the great world leaders. Winston Churchill was first elected as a conservative, later as a liberal and finished his career as prime minister of England as a Conservative.

He once made the statement that a Conservative person has no heart and a Liberal has no brains. We all know that we need a heart and a brain to live. We need both parties, but it will be the people who are neither right or left who will determine which party at this time is best for the future of our country. I believe the Republicans, at this time, will do a better job of getting our fiscal house in order.


The last three qualifications to become a good CEO are the ability to communicate, motivate and compromise. So when you decide who to vote for, develop a 5-point score card. Rate the candidates with 5 being the best and the 0, the poorest. After you have done this, I believe you will find that there is one candidate who will score much higher than the rest.

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Al Arends is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.