Remember former presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s response to criticism during a 2016 presidential primary debate? In response to another candidate, he said that instead of running for president, he said, “I could be doing really cool things”. Needless to say this response did not resonate with voters.
How about Ted Kennedy’s long pause when asked why he wanted to run? As a candidate you may not have all of the answers, but your reasons for running for public office should be clear.
The point is that these aren’t great answers to a rather important question, why do you want to run for political office. To be an effective candidate, this is the first question that you should be able to answer.
The decision to run is different for everyone. Some may disagree with their local school board. Others run as a balance against an opposing party and their policies. Common amongst all is the desire to effect some sort of change, and just as important, they believe that they are the best person to do so.
So, what makes a good answer to this important question?
First, emphasize the significance of your experience. Most people running have achieved professional success, be it in business, law, medicine, non profit work, or some other field, and they draw upon this knowledge and experience to inform their positions and policies.
Second, describe what you are going to do for voters. Are you campaigning against tax hikes? Want to bring more federal funds to local schools? Tell the people what you plan on doing, and how it benefits them.
Finally, be confident in your answer. Speak clearly and slowly. Don’t overcomplicate your answer. You should provide a response that is easily understood. You’ll have time to elaborate on your positions later, for now it’s important to let people know who you are and what you support!