Cliché? Of course not. But it helps if you are a white Anglo-Saxon male. Here is how to go about it, starting at an early age:
After all that work achieving the Presidency, you must focus on your original goals: wealth and power.
The wealth you began accumulating in public office will continue to grow of its own accord.
Power: Plan a war. Select a small country with a conveniently inept military force whose officer corps was trained in the U.S. The results will be two-fold: You can wear a Commander-in-Chief ball cap and jacket. You can establish a "democratic country" run by a stable and compliant military dictatorship thus insuring peace in the region and capture a trade market.
An exception to the rule: Ronald Reagan became President without really being exceptional. He read his lines in B movies and generally played roles that garner sympathy. He lost his legs in a three-kleenex romance, he tragically died as an average college football player. He did have good hair.
He was a staunch anti-Communist and ratted out his fellow-Hollywood friends at the McCarthy Hearings.
Reagan read his lines well, some taken from movies such as "make my day". However, he screwed up the nation's economy after ruining California's, but redeemed himself in the country's admiration by saving Granada from a Communist dictator.
His wife, Nancy later attempted deification by promoting renaming of buildings and airports and would have added his head to Mount Rushmore if there had been room and if the original sculptor hadn't died. (Mount Rushmore proposal)
George W. Bush (aka "Dubya", "Shrub"...) It helped to be the son of a former President and to have a brother who was Governor of a state with a high number of electoral votes. The Bush Dynasty may be lining up Jeb for a third Bush Presidency.
He started his reelection campaign two years ahead, traveling around the country on Air Force One on company time. Although reading Bill the Goat to kindergarteners is not in his job description, the public and the press seemed to consider him a compassionate yet strong leader who stayed the course, etc. Like Reagan, he used a lot of strong but meaningless Hollywood-like phrases. "Bring it on."
Dubya had difficulty finding an excuse to go to war until bin Laden gave it to him. Dubya half-heartedly sent troops after bin Laden in Afghanistan, but really jumped into invading Iraq. The senior Bush hadn't been able to justify crossing the border into Iraq after repelling Iraqis from Kuwait. Bush The Lesser couldn't justify it either, but came up with a lame excuse to dump the uncooperative Saddam Hussein.
Bush used Iraq and fear of terrorism to win a second term. Also, the Democratic Party has become hopelessly lame and cannot seem to field a viable candidate or an effective campaign.
Richard Nixon did it the hard way. He made a name for himself on the House UnAmerican Activities Committee persecuting students and anyone who appeared to question the government. He faithfully served as Eisenhower's Vice President as a step to nomination for President. He lost to John Kennedy's good looks and charisma. A sore loser, he finally came back and won the Presidency through "dirty tricks" such as tapping the phones of the DNC at the Miami Convention. The aptly named CREEP (Committee to Reelect the President) won Tricky Dick a second term but instigated his fall with the Watergate Breakin. Cheaters do prosper, at least temporarily.