Pete Souza at TPAC

Pete Souza’s list of admirable presidential qualities

At a recent stop on his book tour for Shade, Pete Souza provided the following list of qualities one might look for in a presidential candidate. Obviously, his time spent with Barack Obama influenced this list, as does the contrast between Obama and Donald Trump. I agree with what Souza values in compiling this list, although I’m sure there are other things that would merit adding. Nevertheless, here are his words.

We should elect a president who:

  • Respects the institution of the press.
  • Understands the power of the written word and that words have an impact.
  • Doesn’t overuse his/her phone for bombast and narcissism (or, at the very least, has a spouse who will take their phone away if they do).
  • Knows how to respond after a mission or military action (namely, speaking to the American people directly about what was done and why).
  • Will not be laughed at by world leaders, because he/she will talk to allies and won’t pander to enemies.
  • Will dance with his/her spouse (and get his/her spouse a birthday present).
  • Takes time with his/her kids.
  • Has a dog.
  • Respects everyone, including custodians (and doesn’t look down on other people).
  • Will pick good people to sit on the Supreme Court, including people who aren’t middle-aged white men.
  • Has good reactions to kids and gets down on their level.
  • Knows how to take a selfie.
  • Is someone you can trust with your babies’ lives.
  • Doesn’t care if a child is black, white, Hispanic, etc.
  • Responds appropriately to national tragedy.
  • Musicians will willingly perform for at the White House.
  • Will laugh at the little things … and make staff laugh at them, too.
  • Knows who Rosa Parks was.
  • Will be welcomed into the club of former presidents.
  • Respects veterans and visits them regularly (such as once a quarter).
  • Will pray with injured veterans.
  • Visits Afghanistan, visit the injured veterans there, and bring artists to perform … even though doing this requires making a secret trip entirely at nighttime to avoid security threats.

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