There are ten excellent DFL candidates to choose from. Some stand out a little more than others for one reason or another. How do you go about picking which one to vote for? Is there a set of criteria that should be used? Here's my input.
1. How much experience working in government does the candidate have?
2. Is the candidate electable? Does the candidate have state-wide name recognition?
3. Does the candidate have viable ideas about how to fix the crisis that Minnesota is in? Does the candidate have an actual plan for tackling most of the issues, or does he/she only talk about one or two issues? Does the candidate whine that the new governor can't do everything so has to concentrate on one or two things, or does he/she appear eager to get right to work on a plan to solve all the most pressing issues?
4. Is the candidate popular with voters?
5. Is there anything in the candidate's past that the opposition can use to turn voters against him or her?
6. If the candidate has past legislative experience, what was his or her voting record like?
7. Does the candidate have the type of personality that can get along with the legislators well enough to work with them and get things done? Does he or she have a history of getting along well with others?
8. What is the public image of the candidate? How do others see him or her? Sometimes what you see is what you get; other times how you perceive a person is not at all how they really are.
9. How much budgeting experience does the candidate have? Is it enough to combat the current budget crisis? Does the candidate thoroughly understand money?
10. Does the candidate have a history of going out of his or her way to help others? Does the candidate truly care about the people of Minnesota, or is the candidate only out for himself or herself?
11. What are the true inner motives as to why the candidate wants to be the next governor of Minnesota?
12. Will the candidate be able to win a debate against the opposition?
13. Does the candidate like children and animals?
14. Does the candidate often say what he or she thinks the audience wants to hear or does he/she tell the truth no matter how unpopular that truth might be? Is the candidate honest with the audience or are there half-truths and embellishments?
15. Does the candidate agree to be accountable to the people of Minnesota?
16. Does the candidate have a team of advisors and commissioners in mind yet?
17. In the final analysis, which candidate do you really connect with and why?
18. And last but not least, what has the candidate done in his/her career to help various communities of people, such as Seniors, Veterans, Children, Disabled, GLBT, etc.?
Please make an informed vote. Don't just vote for the smoothest talker or the person you think is the most attractive. Making an informed vote takes time and effort. Doing the research, though, is well worth it because the result of the 2010 gubernatorial election will affect each and every one of us in profound ways.