While out to eat soon after my toddler learned how to run, he got out of his chair and (I thought) was planning to take off. Instead, he started walking up to random folks in the restaurant, smiling at them and shaking hands. It was a move I'd seen many times before at political fundraisers (minus the high-chair escape, of course); the kind of charm-and-disarm routine candidates do when they first arrive to make everyone feel special enough to donate. There are few clearer signs your kid will run for president someday than watching them naturally do what many candidates have to be taught.
Like his big sister (also known as the reason I eventually memorized Grace for President for a few months several years ago) and like me and my husband, he already shows signs of being politically minded. In addition to working the room at parties and restaurants, he also likes to hop up to every podium he sees and tell crowds about his big plans for infrastructure investment (“Train!” “Bus!” “Digger!”).
Fortunately for all of us, also known as his future and emphatic constituents, he's an honest and very progressive little guy. A is for Activist is one of his favorite books, and he will proudly raise a solidarity fist if you tell him “Power to the People!” However, regardless of their politics, if your kiddos show signs like the following, you might be raising a budding presidential candidate, too. I guess I'll see you, and our little one, at the polls sometime soon, dear reader.
They’re Super Charming
Sure, all babies and young kids have a certain amount of innate charm. Still, some kids go above and beyond in this department, leaving a lasting impression on everyone they meet. If that sounds like your kiddo, it might be good to register their campaign web domain now, before a future opponent can.
They Kiss Babies, Even If They’re Still A Baby
It's also the cutest thing ever.
They Love To Speak At Podiums
My son has to get up to every microphone he finds in a public place. Every time, without fail. If your little one does the same, and without any kind of reservation, they might be imagining themselves holding forth behind the Seal of the President.
They’re Leaders In Most Groups
Both of our kids tend to lead whenever they're with a group of friends (and adults, honestly). If your kid gravitates toward a leadership role in most situations, start vetting yourself and your close associates so you can get ahead of any nasty opposition research.
Raising strong-willed kids can be so frustrating at times, but their stubbornness is actually a key part of their leadership potential. Kids who have a vision for what they want to happen, and who stick to it, definitely have one of the key ingredients of a future presidential candidate. Strong opinions about “No, dat apple!!!!” in toddlerhood could translate to strong advocacy for their chosen issue positions later.
They Have Clear Ideas About How The World Should Be...
A few years ago, when Congressional Republicans forced a government shutdown, my then 6-year-old stepdaughter was so furious about it that she spent days ranting to anyone who would listen; from our friends to her teachers to the crossing guard on the walk to and from school to, of course, her parents. She took the time to carefully detail her ideas for getting the country's wayward representatives in line.
Virtually all kids have a clear sense of fair and unfair. Future presidential candidates take it further, though; imagining in detail what they would do differently if they were in charge.
...And They’re Always Sharing Them
There are lots of small, adorably-written picket signs and petitions in our house. Yours too? Consider designating one of their piggy banks for campaign donations.
They Try To Be Responsible…
True public servants are responsible for themselves and to their communities, including their families. So if your little ones are usually pretty self-disciplined about getting their work done, practicing for their various hobbies and activities, and doing their chores, that's a good sign for their future as well as the present.
...But They Also Offer A Positive Spin On Their Less-Than-Perfect Moments
Going beyond the loophole exploitation that all kids eventually master, future POTUS candidates find a way to spin things like occasionally forgetting to clear their place at the table (“Job creation! Wouldn't want you to be bored, mom and dad!”). Another “useful in the future, occasionally frustrating now” trait that we learn to love for the sake of our future political contenders.
They’re At Home In A Crowd
Shaking hands, smiling, performing, and comfortably holding court in front of a crowd are all very strong signs of a kid with the grasp of retail politics necessary to survive early primary states.
They’re Interested In History...
Does your little one enjoy following the news or reading about the past? If your kid is interested in history and government, that's a very good sign that they could have a future in politics.
...And They Plan To Make It Someday
Have you read Grace For President every night at bedtime for weeks on end? Does your kid identify with George Washington when you listen to Hamilton? There's a pretty good chance that history has its eyes on them.