9 Questions Voters Need to Ask Themselves Before Voting for President

“That’s the ultimate leadership challenge,” Bradley said in reference to his final question. He noted that the answers to these questions are “not answers you’re going to get from television—they are answers you have to get for yourself as a citizen.”

At the 2008 Shilling Lecture April 21, Bill Bradley, who served three terms in the U.S. Senate before running for president in 2000, said voters should ask themselves these nine questions before selecting a candidate:

  1. Can the candidate put a good team together to govern?
  2. Does the candidate have a personal feel for the country?
  3. Does the candidate know the world?
  4. Is the candidate surrounded by advisers who are secure enough psychologically, competent enough professionally, and curious enough personally to reach out to the broadest range of noncampaign talent?
  5. Does the candidate have a sense of humor—one that can be used in partisan political combat, legislative negotiations, and internal administration debate?
  6. Can the candidate prioritize—tell you what she would do first, second, third?
  7. Has the candidate ever demonstrated political courage?
  8. Will the candidate’s election—in itself—transform the citizenry’s sense of what is possible in the country?
  9. Does the candidate understand a few big issues or a host of small ones, and which mind-set fits the national moment?