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A Novel Concept: Interviewing Politicians for Their Next Job

My husband, named Charles Pletcher II, was doing a vanity search last night during a rare geeky discussion we were having about search technology, and he came upon this letter to the editor of Salon from the 2000 election, written by his father, who has the same name (minus one I) and an expert in employment recruiting. The letter pertains to elections in general and more specifically to executive roles, so I thought it would be nice to share. It was in response to a political compilation piece, “Dems debate while Republicans take late night.”

Essentially the article my father-in-law responded to was a collection of notes from the campaign trail the week before March 2nd of 2000 in the heat of the primary race. It was McCain vs. Bush and Bradley vs. Gore. Ah, the good ol’ days. Before the dark side. Before the Empire. This article really was more social commentary on what was happening in the campaigns and it showcased some of the tap dancing politicians have to do these days to get media attention.

Charlie (Charles Pletcher I), my father-in-law, was obviously perturbed by the lack of seriousness put toward the selection process (for good reason). He wrote in response: “we are collectively conducting an employment search for a senior executive… Somebody, sometime has got to ask each one of the candidates the following question: ‘What is your understanding of the word ‘govern’? Please give two or three specific and concrete examples of past experiences that demonstrate your ability to do so.'” I agree with that. Doesn’t matter what party you’re in, that seems like a sensible place to start with the questioning.

“It would seem that in spite of our lack of acumen, over the last couple of centuries we’ve often gotten lucky and hired the right guy. But, as casino operators know, luck eventually expends itself.” I don’t know if he was referring to anyone in particular in 2000 (and Charlie, if you read this, feel free to comment) but it sure seems to most people now that he was right.


  1. >In a similar vein, I think the hearings we have when Senators question prospective federal justices show a lack of understanding on everyone’s part. The link below has a really nice set of judicial “interview questions” to be posed to the candidate:http://www.accolo.com/justice/