Politics like any profession has its own set of rules and realities. Success in another field does not ensure success in this one.
Like any job I want to see the applicant not only with experience in the field but with some competence and examples of success with the outcomes we seek. That is why I prefer a candidate like Mitch Daniels from Indiana or Chris Christie in New Jersey, or even Tim Pawlenty. I respect Donald Trump and his success but having no political experience is a serious handicap. He may bask in the celebrity status and financial success he enjoys but in his world he exercises power with very different levers than the compromises required of a political leadership position.
Yet the current dynamics require some fresh faces. Rightly or wrongly, Palin or Ron Paul, have been marginalized by a notoriety that clouds the message. Mitch Romney and Newt Gingrich have the political experience but they will need to distinguish themselves from a history of exercising power to a commitment to limit it. We do not want the person to become the message. We need the combination of intellect and humility that fundamentally understands the moral and functional superiority of a limited government that protects individual rights and liberties.
While the elitists have created many of the problems we face it does not follow that populists can fix it. Populists often prefer demons to solutions. It is not enough to run against bad government; you have to run for specific and clear good ideas. Just because a problem was created by the intelligent does not mean it can be solved by the ignorant.
As we move to undo much of the dramatic growth in government the next leader will face a strong resistance not only from the public sector, but from the private sector that prefers power and wealth from using government influence rather that market competition. Both have a huge media apparatus to fight to retain elitist control. It will take a special leader to stay intellectually committed in the face of resistance, much of it from his (or her) own party.
The combination of experience, leadership, intellectual commitment and the ability to communicate effectively should narrow this field. But it is refreshing to have a choice of several good prospects.