And the American most qualified to be president is …

  • Share
  • Read Later

I just can’t wrest myself away from this topic of the experience one supposedly needs to be president or v.p. I guess because so many people keep saying so many transparently and amusingly partisan things about it. Just to review, over the past few weeks we’ve learned that to be truly qualified to run for president or vice president:

1. You should have held office for years and years.

2. You should have executive experience.

3. You should represent a large population.

4. You should represent a large geographical area.

5. You should have foreign policy experience.

6. You should be from a state that’s close to a foreign country, preferably a big, scary foreign country.

7. You should have gotten your first passport before 2006.

8. You should have run for president.

9. You should have done time as a mayor, preferably of a large and growing city, although the definition of large may vary.

10. You should have governed an area with lots of oil wells.

Am I missing anything?

Assuming I’m not, it seems obvious to me that by these criteria, the American Most Qualified to Be Presidentâ„¢ is California Attorney General Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr., who has served two terms as governor of the most populous and third most expansive of the 50 states, along with stints as secretary of state and AG, has run for president three times, and was until recently mayor of the up-and-coming city of Oakland, which has a population of 420,183 and is home, for now, to the third-most-successful (if you’re talking World Series victories and not, say, attendance) of Major League Baseball franchises. (I know that’s not really on topic, but as a member, albeit an inactive one, of Athletics Nation, I couldn’t resist mentioning it.)

Brown has spent 23 years in elected office (that includes his two year stint on the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees).

And here’s the clincher: California is lousy with oil wells! With only one-fourth the land area of Alaska, the Golden State produces almost as much crude–17.7 million barrels a month vs. 21 million. If America is to achieve energy independence through drilling, it needs to achieve California-level per-square-mile oil yields, not piddling Alaska yields. (For those who are wondering, Barack Obama’s Illinois produces 797,000 barrels of oil a month, John McCain’s Arizona 4,000, and Joe Biden’s Delaware none at all.)

I guess Governor Moonbeam doesn’t have a lot of foreign policy experience in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or Senate Armed Services Committee sense (I blame myself for that; I voted for Pete Wilson in the 1982 U.S. Senate race). But he’s had a passport for decades and has traveled widely. He’s studied Spanish in Mexico, worked for Mother Teresa in India, and meditated a bunch in Japan. Plus, California borders Mexico–which isn’t quite Russia, but it will do in a pinch–and Nevada, the home state of CSI.

It’s also got to count for something that Brown used to go out with Linda Ronstadt. As should the fact that his wife and “special counsel,” Anne Gust, used to help run Gap Inc. and is now on the board of directors at Jack in the Box.

But I grew up in California, so my political knowledge skews westward (and weirdward). Are there any other excruciatingly qualified candidates out there we should be considering?