Requirements for a Presidential Candidate

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  • Requirements for a presidential candidate
    • Constitutional Requirements
      • Must be a natural-born American citizen
      • Must be at least 35 y/o
        • youngest ever was Theodore Roosevelt (42)
      • Residency qualification of 14 yrs
      • Constit amended to limit presidents to 2 terms in 1951
    • Extra-Constitutional
      • Political Experience
        • VPs, state governors and senators seen as good candidates
          • HoR members should be, but very few are regarded as a leading candidate
          • In 2012, Republicans had 6 governors, 3 HoR members and 1 Senator Pd nominees
          • Of 17 Pd candidates from the last 12 elections, 9 were senators, 6 were VPs and 6 were governors
        • Lat time a Dem/Rep candidate w/ no pol background was in 1952 - Eisenhower was a WW2 general
        • Experience doesn't necessarily determine outcome
          • Obama (3 yrs in Senate) beat Clinton (8 yrs first lady and 7 yrs in Senate
      • Major party endorsement
        • Vital to be support by Dems/GOP to become Pd
        • e.g. Pat Buchanan (2000) and Ross Perot (1992) were 3rd party candidates and not Pds
      • Personal characteristics
        • Normally white males
          • But Dem candidate b/w Clinton and Obama
          • Unsurprising given usual pools of recruitment
            • Nov 2014, only 20% female and only 1 African American
            • currently only 5 female governors
        • Advantage if married
          • Only one Pd not married - James Buchanan (1857)
          • Pre-1992 scandals also ruinous
            • Sen. Edward Kennedy and Sen Gary Hart (1988) couldn't become Pd
            • But Clinton still became Pd despite allegations about Gennifer Flowers
            • Divorce less of an issue
              • Both Reagan and McCann (2008 Rep nominee) had remarried
      • Ability to raise large sums of money
        • Campaigns v expensive
          • Only billionaire nominees (Ross Perot and Steve Forbes) able to fund own campaign personally
        • According to Open Secrets (website)
          • Obama raised $125.2 million in 2011
            • Further $66.4 million in 2012
          • Romney raised $56.1 million in 2011
            • Further $30.2 million in 2012
      • Effective Organisation
        • Can't use party's organisational structure during candidate selection process
          • Have to create own organisation
            • Time consuming, expensive and demanding
            • e.g. Michael Dukakis (1988) and Bob Dole (1996) had weak organisations and did badly
            • Obama had superior organisation to Clinton
            • Romney had a big win in Florida due to the disparity b/w his and his opponents' organisation
      • Oratorical skills and being telegenic
        • Esp crucial in age if media
        • Reagan was an actor, so had advantage
        • Barack Obama also displayed these in 2008
        • Clinton was also a good speaker and portrayed well on TV
      • Sound and relevant policies
        • To avoid being seen as all style and no substance
        • Voters can tell when a campaign is a 'policy-free zone'
        • Policies must be sound and relevant
        • Some major on a specific issue
          • Clinton and economy
          • McCain (2000) and campaign finance reform
          • Howard Dean (2004) and Iraq War

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