A reader has another suggestion for the American Most Qualified to Be President™: George V. Voinovich, the Republican senior Senator from Ohio.
Voinovich’s credentials are in fact impeccable: He has served in the Ohio House of Representatives and on the Cuyahoga County Commission. He has been Cuyahoga County auditor. He was the (very successful) mayor of Cleveland from 1980-1989. He was governor of Ohio, the country’s seventh most-populous state, from 1991 through 1998. He’s been in the U.S. Senate ever since, serving on, among other things, the Foreign Relations Committee.
In other words, Voinovich more than satisfies most of the ten experience/qualifications categories listed in my last post on this subject. The only real difficulties are with
4) You should represent a large geographical area.
10) You should have governed an area with lots of oil wells.
Ohio ranks 34th among the states in land area, and 17th in oil production (480,000 barrels of crude oil in April, which puts it just behind Arkansas and just ahead of Michigan). Not impressive at all.
But Voinovich’s hometown of Cleveland was once the nation’s leading refining center. It was the birthplace of Standard Oil. So if the idea is simply that having spent time around lots of oil makes you uniquely qualified to craft an energy policy, then I think that Voinovich, born in Cleveland mere a 25 years after the Standard Oil breakup, at least kinda sorta of fits the bill.
So who is the American Most Qualified to Be President™? By my (admittedly ridiculous) criteria, I think it’s still got to be Brown. His state is much bigger, both in population and land area. It’s got lots of oil. He’s run for president three times. But I think a Brown-Voinovich unity ticket has a lot of potential. It’s too late for this election, but how about 2012? By then Brown will be 74 and Voinovich 76. Now that’s what I call experienced!
Update: Another reader points out that George H.W. Bush more than satisfies all but one of the criteria (he’s never been a mayor). I didn’t really consider him, given that he’s already been president. Still, he could run again. He’ll be 88 in 2012. But I’m sure he’ll be in excellent shape.