Presidents Should Be Elected for Their Policy Positions Not Their Parenting Skills

obama familyGood parenting skills don't exactly translate to good leadership skills. Raising well-adjusted and happy children is by far one of the most difficult jobs a parent can have. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I am pretty certain that if my parenting skills were evaluated when I applied for any of my past jobs, I might not have been hired. How I manage my home is very different from how I manage my office. I would imagine the same goes for most, if not all, of the presidential candidates.

Additionally, as much as I was touched by President Obama's letter reflecting on what fatherhood meant to him, his passion for fatherhood is not what influenced me to vote for him in 2008 or again in 2012. A candidate wins my vote because of their positions on policies that are important to me. Not because their children have earned ivy league degrees or because they take beautiful family portraits.    


Even the best intended or most devoted parents have limits as to how much they influence their adult children. Most of the Republican candidates have adult children, and although some are doctors and others are journalists, I'm not sure that the paths they choose have everything to do with their parents.

When Lucas Bachmann, a resident in psychiatry at the University of Connecticut, declined an invitation to pose for Playgirl, he cited his profession as the reason for not posing. We may not really know if his mother, Representative Michele Bachmann, had anything to do with his decision. Would she have lost a few votes if he posed? Possibly. But the reason she is one of the least favored candidates has everything to do with the way she ran her campaign and her policies rather than what type of parent she is. Even though Bachmann has been a foster parent to 23 children and five biological children, her commitment to motherhood does not give her the ability or the experience to effectively run our nation.  


This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. Read the original question and find links to all their responses here: Do a Candidate's Parenting Skills Have Anything to Do With Their Effectiveness as a Leader?


Image via The White House/Flickr

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