First, I want to know his record as an elected officeholder. I don't look for rigid compliance with my own preferences on issues, but I do try to get a feel for what motivates him so I can make an educated guess about the positions he may take on future questions. Then I look at the people with whom he surrounds himself, his political allies and enemies, his personal friends, his past and his role models. Who supports him, and why? Where did he get his personal money, and who is providing his campaign money? Why does he want to run for the office in question? Has he ever shown a willingness to cross the interests of his own political ambition in order to maintain principles, or is he purely mercenary like so many pols? Can he afford to hold a responsible elective office without having to take bribes to feed his family? Does his record show he jettisons his campaign promises once elected, or does he make a good faith effort to keep them?