Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Can We Start Thinking About November Now?

Yesterday, former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) picked up five more states in the battle for the Republican Presidential nomination, including the all-important bellwether state of Ohio. He now moves from frontrunner status to likely nominee status.

So, yes, it looks like the Republicans once again picked the next man in line. Our nominee is going to be the man that less than two years ago, I swore I’d never vote for. I’ve reluctantly changed my mind on that score, but what hasn’t changed, is that for the sixth consecutive Presidential election, I’ll be forced to vote for a candidate that’s to the left of me. Just once I’d love to vote for a candidate that represents my views.

And yet, on the whole, it could have been worse. A lot worse.

Don’t get me wrong. I admire former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA). The more I get to know him, the more impressed I am with him as a human being. I admire his beliefs, and I admire his willingness to stand up for them, even when he knows that he will face strong criticism for some of them. He seems to be a man who says what he believes and believes what he says. That’s a rarity for a politician these days, and it’s to be lauded.

I admire former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s (R-GA-06) intellect. I admire not only his knowledge of history and world affairs, but his understanding of them. I said two years ago that he’d be a formidable debater and he has been. He’s a great idea man. I’d love to see him as Chief of Staff, or maybe even Secretary of Energy, State, or Commerce. He’d give any of those departments the top to bottom shakeup that they sorely need.

I admire Congressman Ron Paul’s (R-TX-14) fighting spirit. I admire the way he’s grabbed this issue of the power and secrecy of the Federal Reserve and he’s not letting go. He’s absolutely right on this issue. I also admire they fact that despite the R after his name, he’s probably the only true Libertarian in either chamber of the U.S. Congress.

But…

I have more than my fair share of concerns with all three of these gentlemen. As I’ve said numerous times on this blog, I’ve never been a fan of legislators as chief executives. Certainly the last 3+ years have done nothing to change my mind on that score. Ron Paul’s ideas on foreign policy are frankly, terrifying. Newt is a great idea man, but like all idea guys, sometimes he nails it, and sometimes he misses wildly. He’s not fit to be the top guy. Someone needs to be there and say “whoah, Newt, slow down”. He also has far too much baggage to make a good Presidential candidate. As for Santorum, his social conservative ideas will be sure to scare away independents and libertarians. He doesn’t appear to have a chance in his home state of Pennsylvania, or the neighboring state of Ohio. While both of those are uphill climbs for any Republican candidate, it’s hard to draw an electoral college map that gets a Republican to 270 without coloring at least one of these states red. In short, I’ve never felt that any of the three of these men are electable.

So, what do I admire about Mitt Romney? His electability. The GOP needs to make the economy and America’s fiscal situation the #1 and #2 issues going into November. No candidate is more suited to make these arguments to the American people than Mitt Romney. Do I have concerns about his “true conservative” credentials? As a former governor of Massachusetts of all states, you bet I do. I think he is much more likely to be a Republican Bill Clinton than a new Ronald Reagan. And that disappoints me more than I can say. I also think that ObamaCare should be one of the biggest issues of the campaign season (and how it directly impacts issues #1 and #2 above), and I have said numerous times that his candidacy and his own RomneyCare takes that weapon and forces the GOP to put it back up on the shelf. It’s hard to win elections when you can’t use your best weapons against the other candidate.

I got an email from Rick Santorum’s campaign this morning (using an e-mail address I provided only to Michele Bachmann’s campaign, btw) saying that the fight has just begun. I hope they rethink. Mitt is going to be the nominee, and it’s time to start planning for November, not fighting for the convention.

Remember what we’re fighting for here. We’ve got to get that clown out of the White House before he completely destroys this country.

Yes, it’s that important. And it may already be too late.

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