Not just good at denying obvious and deep corruption (Hillary Clinton), corrupt but not examined yet (Martin O’Malley), or corrupt and blaming others (Chris Christie). Donald Trump fails here as badly as Hillary, but from the opposite end of the spectrum.
Ben Carson does very well here. Jeb Bush does as well.
I know this sounds like a lot to ask of a politician but really why is it? The best ones were honest, why do we accept less? Here a bunch of the current candidates fall short, most of them actually — except the aforementioned Ben Carson, who may be too candid; Bernie Sanders and Jeb Bush, a socialist and a guy from a family dynasty that has had it’s share of power in my lifetime. Maybe Scott Walker fits in here, but I don’t know enough about his history to declare him honest yet. Bush has impressed me with his immigration stand; it’s principled, costly to him, but honest. Sanders is completely telling the truth at all times as he sees it – no doubt – unfortunately he has no idea what he’s talking about on some of these key points — so it his honesty in refreshing and even relevant on certain issues, but way too far left for the mainstream electorate.
This one counts because people that are willing to compromise to get things done are different than the ideologues preferred by both parties — that may win here and there –but leave a path littered with enemies, pitfalls and countervailing forces that sometimes unwind those wins. Capable means he/she understands economics, understands how government works, understands foreign affairs and has created legislative programs that had bi-partisan success and support. It’s not really about neurosurgery of running a Fortune 500, although these things don’t eliminate you. It’s like Ronald Reagan wasn’t eliminated because he was an actor first, but his experiences as Governor of California are what prepared him for the White House.
This category eliminates Carson for multiple reasons then; it also eliminates Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Sanders, Clinton, O’Malley, Carly Fiorina and Lincoln Chafee, but is a huge win for Walker, Bush, Lindsey Graham, and Rick Santorum.
George Pataki doesn’t appear on the radar, Bobbie Jindal and John Kasich have regional support and have shown capability but both did it in partisan fashion and don’t have friends across the aisle. Some might question my placement of Graham and Santorum in the positive category above for the same fault, but all of them have worked with the opposition to get a package passed and have friends on the other side of the aisle.
This list leaves no Democrats of any viability, and only a few Republicans, one of whom I reject for family dynasty reasons — although that doesn’t seem as rationale as it once did — considering the limited depth of the field.
Of course, Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp is all 3 of these, incorruptible, honest, and capable — plus she’s smart, knowledgeable, a woman, and a Senator! But, alas, she’s not in the race.