How to run for President
Posted October 15, 2019 9:49 a.m. EDT
CNN — Yes, being President makes you the most powerful person in the world and puts you in the history books.
But it's also a multi-year commitment that forces you to essentially give up your personal life and any sense of privacy. Plus, it makes about half the country hate you.
The Constitution only has three requirements -- candidates must be a natural born citizen, 35 years old and have spent the past 14 years residing in the United States.
But there is so much more to it.
First, there's the primary process.
Since only Republicans or Democrats are seen as serious candidates, you have to choose a party and get popular in that party.
An inspirational autobiography helps. Maybe some years as a governor or senator, although even a few mayors think they're ready this year. Also a guy who lost a Senate race. And, of course, the current President who had zero government experience when he ran.
You spend nearly a year bouncing back and forth from Iowa to New Hampshire to South Carolina to Nevada -- the early primary states.
If you're not with voters, you're raising money. And raising money. And raising money.
It takes many millions to mount a serious bid, and you can only raise $2,700 per donor for the primary and $2,700 per donor for the general election -- if you get that far.
Hillary Clinton raised and spent almost a billion dollars losing to President Donald Trump. He raised much less. Primaries are expensive too. Sen. Bernie Sanders spent $222 million on his 2016 loss.
You need staffers and volunteers. You have to buy TV and Internet advertising. You're going to spend every waking hour in Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, maybe Ohio, Colorado. If you want to win, you should probably visit Wisconsin.
There are debates and town halls and interview after interview after interview.
Then, if you win, you get to be President and live above your office and try to work with Congress to get something done.
And you'll need to start running for reelection the day after you're sworn in. That's what Trump did.