I’ve been trying to figure out a way to codify and quantify my decision making process regarding my vote for POTUS. Being President seems to require a complex matrix of skills, temperament, philosophy and habits. I’ve tried to lump these qualities into set of meta-qualities, and then assign each a value weight. Then I evaluate the candidate, and give each a score for each meta-quality that ranges from 1 to 10.
This takes into account such fuzzy things as speaking ability, or appearing presidential, and even weighs tougher questions like can he get legislation passed.
Here are the meta-quality groupings I devised.
Personal Style – This encompasses speaking style, appearance, communication skill, energy level, posture and so on. All those things that go into making people like you, or not like you. They are not terribly important, but they are important to a certain degree. Therefore I give them a relative weight of 3 out of 10.
Organizational Effectiveness – The simple question here is can this candidate run an administration that is both efficient and effective? This involves execution of tasks and goals, creative thinking, bold action, and all within budget and time constraints. Obama seems to have taken the lead on this one, proving his ability by running on heckuva campaign.
Political Philosophy – this is the first one most people think of. I’m assuming that policy flows out of philosophy, so if you agree with a candidate on philosophy, the policy will work for you too. In the case of this year’s election, one must be very careful as the candidate each try to define the philosophy of the other. Of course, distortion is really what they seek, not definition.
Legislative Mojo – This is closely related to Organizational Effectiveness, but with a much narrower focus. Basically, will the candidate propose legislation and will he be able to get it passed into law? One’s philosophy may be great, but without the ability to actually persuade and move the lawmakers, you got nothing.
So here is what I came up with when I did my evaluation. This is a thin slice approach to the question. My numbers are just made up from gut feelings. I think the matrix is self-explanatory. McCain comes out the winner by a slight margin.