May 2008

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I think you make a really good point.

Ron Paul for President

Ron Paul for President in 2008! He's better than all the other Republicans, and he's not Hillary!


I find it interesting that you would say that its obvious that "good judgement" is the most important quality in a president.

I think in his or her advisors, sure. The single most important quality, to me, in a presidential candidate is integrity.


I find your faith in polls touching.


Strap in, I think we're all going to die.


it has been said by many people the most notable that i can think of is Douglas Adams (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) those who most seek power are ipso-facto those most unsuited to wield it (so who do you get to run things when when one who wants to can be allowed to)
so what we need to do is to take a poll of all the people in the US who would like to be president and then evict them from the country or be banned from running for office at least (I'm in the UK this rule would apply here to the Prime Minister) and then hold an election with everybody else who wouldn't really want to be but thought it was there duty to do it


While I'm sure I won't be the only one with this point of view in these comments already, if a presidential candidate possessed good judgment, would they decide to run for president in the first place?

Kevin Kunreuther

[But the site promoting Bloomberg doesn’t mention his decision-making skills because everyone knows voters aren’t influenced by that sort of thing.

Does that worry you?]

I'm worried about every one of the current characters running for President.

People who are good at making decisions about running a business and amassing capital are not necessarily good at making decisions about governing people's lives. A CEO's responsibility is to the shareholders. A lot of those decisions involve securing maximum profit anyway possible, without getting arrested or fired.

Democratically elected Presidents have more oversight, tons of input from advisors, checks and balances to rein in .... oh, wait a minute, too late, might as well forego the process and swear in Bloomberg now.


Does it worry me? Yes an no. The worrying bit is that someone who is mainly selected on his good looks, his pleasant voice as well as his ability to hire some good marketing specialists will pretty much have his finger at the button to detonate a few nuclear weapons. Then again, after George W, the next president can only be an improvement. Maybe you should remove the dead horse from dilbert and suggest him to be president. At least he will not make any mistakes ...


Hunter S. Thompson used to compare seeking the Presidency with a bull elk in rut. The elk will run over anything, even leave pieces of his hide behind on the bark of a tree, in that intense, mad focus to reach the object of his desire.

I think when you want the Presidency THAT badly, that, in and of itself, is the greatest disqualification for the job. There's too much power in it for a megalomaniac. Better to have someone who is actually reluctant to run, but feels he/she is compelled to do so out of an overriding public interest. There are few of those out there. Ron Paul MIGHT be one, but that remains to be seen.


I agree it's disturbing, but I think it comes under character. Character is a strong positive indicator of good judgement. And it DOES have a huge impact on job performance. After the Africa Embassey bombings & the US Cole incident, the Intel community found Bin Laden three times and offered him to take him out if CLinton would give the order. But Clinton & his staff were too involved managing the fall out from the Lewinsky thing to deal with national security. We're still paying the price for that blunder.

So character affects job performance, and indicates good judgement.

Enough Wealth

Unfortunately having "good judgement" is like having "luck" - a retrospective attribute. You can't really tell if anyone had it until they're dead. For example, does the twenty-year old lottery winner have "luck"? What if they get hit by a bus the next day?

Your successful businessperson may appear to have "good judgement", but if they start WWIII when they're president then history would probably decide that they had "bad judgement" overall. Also, lots of businesses thrive under a CEO, but the next business run by that CEO tanks. Judgement isn't necessarily transferrable - what worked well in one situation may not work at all in the next.



Great way to plug for Mike, trying to make it look like just a random musing.


"Does that worry you?"

Not in the least, but my personal feeling is that the Mayan calendar was optimistic about us making it to 2012.


>> These countries became rich and powerful through the
>> operation of large and small capitalist organisations which,
>> as some of you may have noticed, are *not* run as
>> democracies.

> Actually, they are run *exactly* like democracies. Each
> shareholder gets a vote. When the CEO does a lousy job,
> the shareholders vote him out, assuming they are paying
> attention, which they often are not.

Well, not quite. Each share gets a vote, not each shareholder. Rich shareholders get extra power in proportion to their wealth; those with the smallest investment get the least say in what happens. Those with no investment get no say.


Scottie, your cartoon strip over the last few days about flogging the dead horse... Absolutely CLASSIC!!!!!!! :-D

Andy Watt

Over here in the UK we're havnig a big debate about our party leaders and their capabilities, especially in terms of "leadership" and all the touchy feely crap you mention.

The leader of the conservatives (not currently in office) is an ex-PR man called David Cameron, who has impressed everybody with his speeches but who is constantly badgered for his total lack of substantive belief in anything apart from the widest most non-controversial ideals like "the environment" or "law and order".

Mean while we're badgering our current encumbent government about new weekly revelations regarding lost personal data and their farcical idea of electronic ID cards - a clear attack on their leadership skills.

In the UK we now have the politics we deserve. We've been valuing the leadership skills of lawyers and slick PR people, all of whom aspire to political careers (and whose judgement in getting to the top of the political heap can't be faulted - they are there, after all), by voting for the idiots for the last 20 years.

Net result - when bad judgment occurs in UK politics, we now have a supposedly media-savvy executive culture (following Tony Blair, of course) where ministers responsible pop up and "apologise" for the most monumental f*** ups, offering us excuses which only make them appear more useless (the Japanese have got that right - they do apologise, but don't make excuses) and then they don't go on to do anything substantive - that gets reported, anyway!

It seems the our political elite are now so inbred that their judgement and experience (especially real-world) are very low in the list of talents compared to the touchy-feely crap in the rest of that list of traits.


"Does that worry you?"

It bothers me, but it's been the way for so long it'd be like worrying about cars being a major cause of death and injury and yet so prevalent. Which, er, I do, which is why I don't drive, so that wasn't a very good analogy for the purpose of explaining why I'm not worried.

Jesse Ventura was the best potential 'twist' presidential candidate, way more likely to have had a chance than Mike, but he made the first step into government and then basically quit because it sucks. That's the sort of person I want as a leader, but will never get. (That said, if I ever find myself with enough money to run for office and advertise sufficiently to make a dent, I might do it precisely because nobody does. Though I don't know what would happen if I got in, what do you do if you're a leader who actually wants to make things better for people?)


Our current leader in the UK, Gordon Brown, seems to have started on a course which is giving the impression of him having bad judgement. It is quite scary to think what disaster he will cause next.

So yes, you are completely right.


The most important quality of a US president is the ability to find funds for his/her campaign. Being rich enough to have lots of "friends" helps.

Mastro Gippo

They're watching you...


I'm not sure if someone who got rich on wall street has good judgment or is just very lucky. Either quality would be nice to have in a President though.


I wanna be like Mike.

He would probably do a better job than of those other clowns.


When looking for any employee, you want him to have 3 things: competence, work ethic, and honesty. If he doesn't have the last one, you better hope to hell he doesn't have the first two either.

Good judgement comes under the first part, and is easily the most important "competence" related skill. However, if he is lazy or dishonest, his good judgement will either amount to nothing or be used in a bad way. As you explained very eloquently in your first non-dilbert book, when 2 things must happen, neither is more important than the other. To have a good president, he must have good judgement and good values by which to judge. It is impossible to say one is more important because both are necessary.

If his values are getting himself and/or his friends richer and he has good judgement, he might even invade a country which isn't a threat so that Halliburton can make money. Hence why Dick cheny, thought chock full of good judgement, would be a terrible president.


The more i think about any election in US, This game pops into mind:

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