Are Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang Really Presidential Material?

A quick, informal post with some thoughts and hopefully, some feedback from you regarding Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang’s candidacies.

I’ve read up on these two candidates and studied Yang’s extensive platform. The fact that O’Rourke is considered a top tier candidate and Yang is getting surprising traction (in betting markets at least) makes me concerned that voters don’t place enough value on experience. When I was growing up, it seemed like a given that serious Presidential candidates needed to be extremely experienced i.e. at least a governor or long-term Senator. Or in some cases like George H.W. Bush, a Vice President and former CIA director. Experienced leaders in an executive branch of some kind.

But O’Rourke and Yang remind me more of smart grad students, the kind who can be found in droves on any good university campus. Sure, O’Rourke can deliver a good speech about NFL players’ First Amendment rights. So could 50 people at my law school. Yang has a lot of interesting policy ideas–I think some are great and very forward thinking. But again, give some of my math Phd friends a week, they could put together a similar platform.

It seems to me the biggest reason these two guys are presidential contenders isn’t because they’ve worked their way up to the job or because their ideas are so revolutionary (especially not Beto). The primary source of their traction is that they have the money to get their message out there. What do you think?

Am I being unfair to them? Am I wrong to think that a President should have a more impressive resume? Or do you think a President really just needs to be a smart person with a moral compass and some good ideas? Leave a comment, send me an email, or tweet and let me know what you think. Eager to hear other perspectives.


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