Which Cosmere character would make the best political candidate?
Here's the thing. Best candidate is not the same as best... Who would be best in the office? Because Taravangian could probably do a really good job of running a candidacy. Jasnah could probably do a really good job in the right circumstances.
If I had to put one completely in charge? Sazed is a good choice. And he would be my default choice. Sazed would never run for the office. But he is a good choice.
We joke the best politicians are those who don't want it; I don't know that that's actually true. I think that there are definitely people who could very much want it, and that wanting it is an advantage. I joke that I'm gonna vote for Emily's dad, who is just a good person, but he would never want to be President. And I don't know if he would actually make a good President because of that. And there is something to be said for political experience, experience being in the public eye, and being the type of person who seeks it out because you know you can deal with it, because it is not easy to be in the public eye (even as a novelist who writes stories about knights who live in space, or whatever). It can be difficult. Someone who's self-selected can be a bad thing, but it can also be a really good thing, I think. So somebody who wants it, who understands how politics works, and things like that. And in that case, Jasnah becomes a better choice, because Jasnah can navigate those political systems and can be in the public eye and make difficult decisions, but also has a moral grounding for the things that she's deciding.
But Jasnah's also a little dangerous. The scene in Book One with Jasnah and the thieves is supposed to make you a little worried about the way that Jasnah views power.
Sarene, she would be a good choice after she's had a little more experience. She's not as good as she thinks she is, is the problem with Sarene.
Elend is a good choice. Elend is a political theorist, and particularly if you get him at the right point after some world experience has forced him to see some other perspectives, he might actually be the single best choice, now that I think about it, to just make into President.