Decision Analysis: using selection of U.S.
Presidential Candidates as an example
• Decision Analysis is the pursuit of the best
balanced choice using agreed criteria.
• The criteria consists of needs and wants.
• The best balanced choice will meet all our needs
and have the highest score on our wants.
• Risk Analysis/Probability of Failure can be used to
decide ties (and to debate BBC).
• Opportunity Analysis/Probability of Success can
be used to decide ties (and to debate and
Do We Need the Best Balanced Choice
to run for President of the U.S.A?
• Are there needs which must be met?
• Are our wants important?
• Is it easy to decide which candidate should be
President of the United States of America?
• Wouldn’t it be nice to compare the candidates
for President of the U.S.A before deciding?
Then, let’s try decision analysis.
Electing a President of the U.S.A.
What do we know about the needs and wants?
• Requirements of the U.S. Constitution must be
met. These are needs.
• Candidate values, principles, knowledge, skills,
experience and education requirements are
wants somewhat unique to each citizen/voter.
Qualifications for the Office of President
of the United States of America
Age and Citizenship requirements - US Constitution, Article II, Section 1
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at
the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of
President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not
have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a
resident within the United States.
Term limit amendment - US Constitution, Amendment XXII, Section 1 –
ratified February 27, 1951
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice,
and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President,
for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected
President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.
Rationale for Natural Born Citizen
The purpose of the natural born citizen clause is to protect the nation from foreign
influence. Alexander Hamilton, a Convention delegate from New York, wrote in
Federalist No. 68 about the care that must be taken in selecting the president:
"Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be
opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of
republican government might naturally have been expected to make their
approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign
powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils." St. George Tucker, an
early federal judge, wrote in 1803 that the natural born citizen clause is "a happy
means of security against foreign influence", and that "The admission of foreigners
into our councils, consequently, cannot be too much guarded against." Delegate
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina said in a speech before the Senate,
"to insure experience and attachment to the country, they have determined that
no man who is not a natural born citizen, or citizen at the adoption of the
Constitution, of fourteen years residence, and thirty-five years of age, shall be
There was also a perception that a usurper from the European aristocracy could
potentially immigrate and buy his way into power. Constitutional scholar Akhil
Amar points out that the laws of England specifically allowed a foreign-born head
of state, and that this had been an unhappy experience for many who had
immigrated to the United States.
Decision Analysis: for selecting candidates for
President of the United States of America
Needs from the U.S. Constitution
(Does the candidate meet constitutional requirements?)
Natural born citizen
35 Years of age
Has commitment and consistency
US President <6 years
Has maturity and experience
14 years resident
Has experience and attachment to the U.S.A.
Has term/control limits
Wants from the U.S. Citizen/Voter
(How well does the candidate meet my wants? 1 is low and 10 is high.)
Values and Principles
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Score 1 to 10
Questions about Decision Analysis
• Why do this? Answer – we make better decisions and get better results
when we know what we need and want and go after it.
• Why are the needs specific and the wants vague? Answer – Needs are
often predetermined. Wants are often decided.
• Can needs be decided? Answer – Yes, but it is important to agree that it is
a need and decides yes or no.
• Can needs and wants change? Answer – Yes.
• Can I use DA to decide on a car, appliance, house, friend, mate, and any
other decision? Answer – Yes, and you’ll improve your skills .
• Can everyone use DA? Answer – Yes.
• Name one real advantage of DA. Answer – DA documents your decision
and reduces stress when there are many options. A good example is the
number of candidates for President of the United States. Today, there are
at least 16 viable Republican candidates for President 2016. I believe
there are many more than 2 Democrats interested. Who is best for the
U.S.A. and the world? How are you going to decide?
Potential Republican Candidates for President 2016
A collage of Democrat Candidates was not available at the time of posting
Risk Analysis/Probability of Failure
Aren’t some of these candidates potential problems?
Answer – Yes, there could be risk possibilities with each
What can I do? Answer – List the risk possibilities. Then,
assign a number to each putting them in priority order.
Assess the probability of failure for each candidate by
assigning High, Medium, or Low for each risk.
Decide your best candidate(s). And if you are really
serious, determine how to prevent the problem, and
plan contingency actions if the problem occurs.
Opportunity Analysis/Probability of Success
• Aren’t there opportunities for some of these
candidates? Answer - Yes, there are
opportunities for each candidate. List the
opportunities. Prioritize. Assign High, Medium,
Low probability for each candidate to each
• Decide your best candidate(s). And if you are
really serious, identify the trigger for each
opportunity and plan promoting action if it
Decision Analysis: Conclusion
• Decision Analysis is an aptitude which reflects
your attitude which determines your altitude.
• Consistently great decisions are the building
blocks for growth and development for a
better life and a better world.
• Practice makes perfect.
• For information about the author search:
LinkedIn Profile for Mitchell W. Manning, Sr.
• For more from the author search:
SlideShare for Mitchell W. Manning Sr.