How to become president of the United States (a guide)
There are two phases to becoming president, step 1, you must win your primary. How do you do that? In order to win your primary, you have to be the "cleanest" person in your party. Why the "cleanest"? It's because everyone you are going up against is pretty much the exact same as you. You all (mostly) share the same ideals, values, and norms. Any person who is an outlier in the primary will be quickly discarded, even if they have good ideas (see Ron Paul). You must be the person with the least amount of skeletons in your closet. If the stuff is already known about you, you will be fine (see Newt Gingrich). You can not be the target of any new allegations (see Herman Cain). Any new allegations must be either discarded as irrelevant, or as youthful indiscretions (even in your 40's, see George W. Bush).
If a new allegation comes up, or you have something in your past that no one knows about, you need to get that out in the open right away. You should already have everything that you've ever done out in the public record, when someone finds out that you did something "bad" before, and you try to hide it; you are screwed.
Since you are pretty much exactly like the others that you are running with, there are several things that will help you win your parties nomination.
Be tall. People expect tall people to be leaders, even if they aren't. If you aren't 6 foot tall, you are probably screwed. When standing on the stage with your opponent, you will look less impressive, if the person towers over you and looks down upon you.
Have a position that is just a little different than the others. Don't be radically different, just a bit different. This is why Ron Paul can't win the election. He may be in second or third in the polls, but the fans of the others aren't going to back him if their candidate quits the race. He is stuck with the number of people who want him to win. The only way he can win, is if some new scandal finds the others that are running.
Look presidential. Even though Barack Obama is black, television shows and movies with black presidents have already softened people to think that maybe a black president is ok. Obama kind of looks like the black presidents in movies, that's why he's presidential looking. You can't look unfit or unhealthy for the times. Taft could never be elected today. Back in the early 1900's a fat person wouldn't have the stigma that a fat person has now. (Taft was the last truly hefty president). Everyone now, is relatively long and lean.
If you are just running to enhance your book sales, then it doesn't really matter what you look like, or how tall you are, or what your positions are, or what you plans are (no matter how dumb or smart they are); you will lose the election.
Have a book published. Your job as congressman, or as a spokesman, or as whatever else it is that is your normal salary, isn't enough. You need to get royalty checks. Everyone who supports you must purchase this book. They may not make a donation to your PAC, but they can give the money directly to you, in the form of your book.
Have a family. Actually, have a daughter or two. Bush 1 was the last president with sons. If you have sons, they must be politically active and be of the same party. If you have daughters, you must say that "your family is off limits" even though you are using them as props to get you elected.
Remember, you are a rock star. You may think you are an everyman who just somehow fell into all this stuff, but you spent your whole life manipulating people into getting your way. You aren't some schlub off the street who wants to shake the hand of someone, you are the guy who's germs are going to be on someone for a month because after they shook your hand, they didn't wash it. Accept your rockstardom. It you will need it.
So, to sum up: you must be just like everyone else in your party; you must not have anything hidden in your past (since you have a book, you need to put a chapter of everything bad that you've ever done, that way no one can surprise you with it, and the fact that you've admitted a "mistake" will earn you forgiveness… even if you killed someone); have a couple of daughters (2 seems to be the perfect number); have a book (or 2); be tall; be somewhat fit.
So, now that you've won your party's nomination, how do you guarantee that you are the person elected president.
Let's look at the past winners and who they were up against.
2008 Obama, McCain
2004 Bush, Kerry
2000 Bush, Gore
1996 Clinton, Dole
1992 Clinton, Bush 1
1988 Bush1, Dukakis
1984 Reagan, Mondale
1980 Reagan, Carter
1976 Carter, Ford
1972 Nixon, McGovern
Winners on the left, losers on the right… what do all the winners have?
They are more charismatic than the people they beat. Clinton was definitely more charismatic than Bush, but Bush was more than Dukakis.
During the early 2000's George W Bush wasn't unbeatable, the democrats were just really stupid. Half the country hated Bush, and all the democrats could put up were guys who had less personality than a wet towel.
Based on the charisma factor, the two people you wouldn't want to run against are Reagan and Obama (Clinton is a close third).
The actual election has little to do with politics, and so much to do with who's the person who can captivate the crowd.
Winning is all about charisma (and no skeletons). Gary Hart wouldn't have beaten Reagan in 1984 (lost to Mondale in the primary), but he would have beaten Dukakis if it wasn't for his affair. Had he beaten Dukakis, he would have beaten Bush based on the charisma factor.
The vice presidential choice makes little difference in the ability to win. You cannot select someone who is more charismatic than you to be your VP though. It won't help. Sarah Palin may be polarizing, she has enough charisma to win the general election, but wouldn't make it through the primary. Dukakis selection of Lloyd Bentsen didn't provide enough boost to overcome his looking like a midget when he was in the tank.
Jack Kemp may have been the best non-winning vp candidate, but he had more charisma than Dole. Kemp vs Clinton in 96 with Gore and Dole as the vp's would have been a tighter race. (Clinton would still have won).
So, to sum up: after you have won your primary, you need to have the stage presence to beat the other person. You may be good in one year, but you might not be the next time (see Bush). For this reason, there isn't a republican who can beat Obama this year. The only candidate who could have, would have been Herman Cain, but his affairs cost him that chance.
Endorsements don't matter, newspapers don't matter, all that matters is that you can carry yourself better than the other guy.