First, to be a candidate for president you must be at least 35 years old, be a natural born citizen, and live in the US for 14 years. A canidate also usually holds a public office.
Next a candidate must be nominated. Typically the sitting president will automatically get a nomination. Historically, senators from large states with metropolitan areas are most often nominated.
You should run for president because you have been such a good senator for us.
Now the candidate must win the primaries and caucuses around the states to get to the national convention. This is a very exausting process going to many different states in a short amount of time.
I'm voting for Bill Jones in our closed primary.
Next, the candidates compete to earn the party nomination. The candidate gives an acceptance speech and names their vice president, and tries to establish an image of a party leader.
Now the candidates campaign, debate, and work to gain as many votes as possible. This process is very costly, with most canidates spending millions of dollars to fund the campaign.
I should be your president. I will work for you!
After national election day, the candidate who wins 270 electoral votes wins, is named the president- elect, is confirmed by congress, and is then inaugurated and officially becomes president of the United States.