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Good morning, class. Draw near and listen ever so closely.

So, you all want to be president of the United States, arguably the most difficult and demanding job in the world?

Clearly, you feel you have unique talents which will promote peace and prosperity and block injustice, racism and men hitting on women.

You are sure you will be able to curb, gently, the imperial instincts of China and its canny leader, Xi Jinping.

And you have a sure-fire plan to contain Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions in eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East and to persuade our shaken allies that it is worth standing firm with us.

You might want to know what to do about Africa’s soaring population and declining prospects.

You also, I trust, have given thought to the future as the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds with huge consequences for the future of work (artificial intelligence taking away jobs); the future of transportation (autonomous vehicles, ships and airplanes); and remote farming (farms operated from city desks).

If you are all set on those things, we can get down to the ones that may decide the election: the social issues, including abortion, education, gender equity and gender equality; gun control; access to health care; immigration; and income inequality.

You might want to tell people how you will turn back the tides and solve global warming. Rich people are starting to worry about their oceanfront homes; that means it will become a fashionable topic with those who have been indifferent to screaming for action.

Now, ladies, step forward for little individual tutelage.

Elizabeth Warren: You have the pole position as the racers line up, but already there are troubling things. Ms. Warren, you must stop taking President Donald Trump’s bait. Lead the debate, do not join it.

Kamala Harris: A few good notices and you are off and running. Just wait until the opposition research pulls apart the cases you prosecuted when you were a district attorney in San Francisco — and the things you said in court. Two former prosecutors, Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, have tarnished the brand.

Kirsten Gillibrand: The announcement on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was, well, weak. It looked like you were there because you had just published a children’s book called something like “Snuggles the Rabbit.” Bold statesmanship was not to be heard. It is hard to look presidential on a comedy program. Now to those giant flip-flops on guns and abortion. Were you not a darling of the NRA? What about your switching from pro-life to pro-getting-elected? Explain your double epiphany.

Tulsi Gabbard: Step forward and salute. Major, you are the only declared candidate with military service: the only candidate in sight who has worn your country’s uniform and seen active duty. Bravo! That is going to be a huge credential, but not quite enough to outweigh the fact that you are too exotic: born in American Samoa, raised in Hawaii and a Hindu. At 38, you have got time, lots and lots of it. Beware hopefuls. This lady may not be for turning.

To the whole class of four: Have you ever run a large organization? Have you a big scandal you think you can keep hidden? Do you know enough people to staff the Cabinet? Do you know how you will find 1,200 people to fill the positions that must be confirmed by the Senate? How is your golf game?

Three of you are senators — Gillibrand, Harris and Warren — and Gabbard is a member of the House. Hard to run against Washington when you already have contracted Potomac Fever.

Suggestion: Get a big idea and run with that. Keep out of the granular social stuff; it will bring you down. Prepare to be vice president and bide your time.

America’s women are on the move, and may the best woman win.

Llewellyn King is executive producer and host of “White House Chronicle” on PBS. He wrote this for The opinions are the writer's.


Porter County Government Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.