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The four Irks were looking at Eagle expectantly. They wanted more than his formal approval. They wanted to engage with him.
“You haven’t made any reference to experience,” he said “You have listed ten qualities that an ideal president must have, but experience doesn’t even feature. Wouldn’t you trade one of the ten for experience? For instance, does the president really need to be emotionally warm and empathetic – let alone socially concerned about all his or her people? Point four, I believe. But, wouldn’t experience of the bureaucracy be more appropriate?”
Two of the members of the little group hadn’t yet spoken. Plipp indicated that one of them should speak. He introduced himself as Delo.
“We discussed this a great deal,” he said. “If this was a simple administrative post then experience would be essential. But essentially it’s an impossible job which, at its core, is about leading the Nation. And to do that you have to relate to, and care about, all Americans.”
“But a president is elected by a small majority at best,” said Eagle. “And sometimes a minority is sufficient. So why not focus primarily on those who elected you? Better yet, why not focus primarily on those who financed you.”
“Because there is a difference between the flawed money-driven system that elects presidents,” said Delo, “and the responsibilities of the president. There is a moral dimension to the office. If the president cannot transcend the rather grubby election process, then the wrong person has been neglected; which happens regularly.”
“We don’t think the Founders got it right,” said Plip. “But, unless and until the Constitution is changed, we’ve concluded the ten qualities we’ve listed as being paramount.”
“So what would the top three be?” said Eagle.
“Integrity, a clear vision of where he or she wants to lead the country, and the ability to inspire, educate, motivate and move the American people,” said Plip. “The core elements of leadership.”