What are we looking for in a Candidate?

While reading Chaz's column found here, he made an interesting statement that jumped out at me:

Whether it’s the Obama / McCain contest, the Governor’s race or the races for Congress--the best organized, hardest working teams will win.

I don't disagree with the statement Chaz made here in the least but instead I find it hit me like a cold hard slap in the face.  We often don't support the candidate who is the best or even who's views most agree with our own, instead as Chaz correctly pointed out here we support for the one who simply campaigns the best.

Maybe that's the problem with our political system, instead of looking at voting records and actual actions we instead get sucked in by colorful speeches and sound bytes.

For instance here's a short quiz I found on the net with two unknown candidates...

Candidate 1: Middle-aged. Went to college and got a degree. Served in the National Guard for six years. Became a sergeant. While in the National Guard, earned a law degree. Became an investigator for a consumer-protection division. Was elected to a federal office. Was re-elected to a federal office. Was elected to a federal statewide office. Was re-elected to a federal state-wide office. Served in the executive branch for four years.

Candidate 2: Middle-aged. Studied overseas. Attended two different colleges in the U.S. before getting a degree. Went on to get a law degree. Worked community affairs in his adopted home city. Was elected to local office. Served in local politics for just over six years. Got elected to a federal state-wide office. Has one real year of experience in that job.

Which of these two choices would you pick for a federal level position?  Not a single person I've asked has picked candidate 2 as their choice yet when you put a face to the number they jump up and down for him.  Candidate 2 is Barack Obama.  Candidate 1 is Dan Quale who many consider a political joke.

Anyone who's objective at all will agree Obama has no real experience yet because he gives speeches that leave people feeling all warm inside he's now one of the two top picks for the highest office in the country.  People lose objectivity when they see someone they like on a personal level.  Obama comes off as a great guy, a lot of reason to like him.  But saying he's a swell guy isn't reason to put him in charge of our country.

Then of course we continue to see time and time again, candidates with views that are unpopular do everything and anything to prevent the discussion of those views or to hide those views.  Why do you think Democrats want to ban the pledge?  They know openly arguing in favor for income or sales taxes will lose elections so they seek to stop debate.  They seek to take it off the table so people wont know one way or the other who supports what.  They want to win by keeping you uninformed and voting strictly for the person who campaigns the best.

Folks it's time to stop voting based on media clips, slick campaign slogans and start looking past the campaigns at who IS the best, not who campaigns the best.