Work experience should be an important factor when choosing a president. To help voters take political work experience into account, here's a ranking of the major current and potential presidential candidates.
Like any job, experience matters for the job of president. This is demonstrated well by that fact that our current and previous presidents lacked broad political experience and were unprepared to be president. (President George W. Bush had only state-level executive experience and President Barack Obama had only state and federal-level legislative experience.)
Ideally, the best preparation for the job of president would be a combination of executive and legislative, state and federal, positions. Plus, they should have electoral experience, not just appointment positions.
In ranking the candidates, years of experience mattered as well as variety of experience. Generally, candidates with both legislative and executive, and both state and federal experience were ranked above candidates with only one type of experience.
One caveat to keep in mind, however, is that political work experience should not be the only factor taken into consideration. Voters should consider other factors, such as non-political work experience, education, character, ideology and what was accomplished with their political experience.
Political work experience should, though, be a factor when choosing a president. Readers should think of the following as one tool among many that can be used when deciding which candidate to support.
With that in mind, here is a ranking, from most qualified to least qualified, based upon political work experience.
1. Bobby Jindal
Executive: Louisiana governor (2007-present), U.S. Health and Human Services Department assistant secretary for Planning and Evaluation (2001-2003), University of Louisiana system president (1999-2001), Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals secretary (1996-1998).
Legislative: U.S. congressman (2004-2008).
Other: Republican Governors Association chair (2012-2013), Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare executive director (1998-1999).
2. Lincoln Chafee
Executive: Rhode Island governor (2010-2014), Warwick mayor (1992-1999).
Legislative: U.S. senator (1999-2006), Warwick city council (1986-1990).
3. John Kasich
Executive: Ohio governor (2010-present).
Legislative: U.S. congressman (1983-2000), Ohio senator (1979-1983).
Other: presidential candidate (2000).
4. Bernie Sanders
Executive: Burlington mayor (1981-1989).
Legislative: U.S. senator (2006-present), U.S. congressman (1990-2006).
Other: Vermont gubernatorial candidate (1972, 1976, 1986).
5. Hillary Clinton
Executive: Secretary of State (2009-2013), first lady to president (1992-2000), first lady to governor (1978-1980, 1982-1992).
Legislative: U.S. Senator (2001-2009).
Other: Task Force of National Health Care Reform chair (1993).
6. Ted Cruz
Executive: Solicitor general of Texas (2003-2008), director of Federal Trade Commission's Office of Policy Planning (2001-2003), U.S. Justice Department associate deputy attorney general (2001).
Legislative: U.S. senator (2012-present).
7. Rick Perry
Executive: Texas governor (2000-2014), Texas lt. governor (1999-2000), Texas Commissioner of Agriculture (1990-1998).
Legislative: Texas House member (1985-1990).
Other: presidential candidate (2012).
8. Scott Walker
Executive: Wisconsin governor (2010-present), Milwaukee county executive (2002-2010).
Legislative: Wisconsin Assembly member (1993-2002).
9. Martin O'Malley
Executive: Maryland governor (2007-2014), Baltimore mayor (1999-2007).
Legislative: Baltimore City Council (1991-1999).
10. Lindsey Graham
Executive: city attorney (1990-1994), assistant county attorney (1988-1992).
Legislative: U.S. senator (2003-present), U.S. congressman (1995-2002) South Carolina House member (1992-1994).
11. Chris Christie
Executive: New Jersey governor (2010-present), U.S. District Attorney (2002-2008).
Legislative: Morris County director of Board of Freeholders (1997), Morris County Freeholder (1995-1997).
Other: Republican Governors Association chair (2013-2014).
12. Marco Rubio
Legislative: U.S. senator (2011-present), Florida speaker of the House (2006-2008), Florida House majority leader (2003-2006), Florida House member (2000-2008), West Miami commissioner (1998-2000).
13. Rick Santorum
Legislative: U.S. senator (1994-2006), U.S. congressman (1990-1994).
Other: Presidential candidate (2012).
14. Mike Huckabee
Executive: Arkansas governor (1996-2007), Arkansas lt. governor (1993-1996).
Other: Presidential candidate (2008).
15. Jeb Bush
Executive: Florida governor (1988-2006), Florida secretary of commerce (1987-1988).
16. Jim Webb
Executive: Secretary of the Navy (1987-1988).
Legislative: U.S. senator (2007-2012).
17. Rick Snyder
Executive: Michigan governor (2010-present).
18. Rand Paul
Legislative: U.S. senator (2010-present).
19. Carly Fiorina
Other: U.S. Senate candidate (2010).
20. Ben Carson