Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Picking the President, Part One

Posted by Adam Graham on September 26, 2005

As I’ve written about the necessity of being involved in choosing a president, and putting yourself in a position to make a difference, its important now to examine the qualities we should look for in a President.


The character of a person who will be the President of the United States cannot be underestimated. The President is a role model for American youth, whether we like it or not. Also, as we learned from the Clinton administration, the character of the President can become a joke that distracts from our nation’s business and detracts from our country’s character.

We don’t just need a president who looks good in public, but a President whose private character is marked by moral probity. To believe someone will be faithful to serve his country and his duty to the Constitution when he’s been unfaithful to his family repeatedly or dishonest in his financial dealings is folly.

This is not to say that a President must have lived a spotless life. If men were angels, James Madison told us, there would be no need for government. It is reasonable, however to expect that in recent years, the man has been faithful to his family, honest in his personal dealings, and been an example of integrity. I honestly don’t care if in college, he did a few drugs, or if something happened 20 years back. What I care about is who the candidate is today.

I don’t particularly care about John McCain’s Divorce almost thirty years ago. However, I’m concerned by Rudolph Giuliani’s divorce and his decision to parade around his mistress in the year 2000 while in his Senate campaign advocating for the display of the Ten Commandments. This was Rudy’s second marriage, the first one ended when he figured out after 14 years of marriage that he was married to his second cousin and got an annulment from the Catholic Church.

Newt Gingrich’s record of personal conduct is even more deplorable. He ended an 18 year marriage and let his then-wife know about the divorce as she was recovering from cancer surgery back in the ’80s. In the ’90s, he divorced his second wife after she claimed to have told him that she had a neurological order that could lead to MS. He then married a third wife who was more than 20 years his junior.

Remembering Bill Clinton’s dishonor, I can’t in good conscience support either of these men to be President of the United States.

Strong Leader for the War on Terror

When I look at the War on terrorism, it becomes apparent that we need someone who is up to the task of leading our country as we continue to deal with terror around the world. I don’t necessarily feel that a wealth of foreign policy experience is necessary to this task. Under President Bush, we’ve had great success capturing Al Qaeda leaders and rooting out terrorists. I don’t think extra foreign policy experience would have changed that.

What is was required is strong leadership and courage to stand up for American values with a strong understanding of the issues facing us. I believe our party as a whole has that understanding and I can think of no candidate who doesn’t.

Strong Conservative

Republican party leaders rail against single issue voters. If I list about five issues a candidate’s wrong on, I’m still a single issue voter for not supporting the candidate. The confusion comes from the fact that the people making these arguments are “no issue voters,” they’ll back any Republican no matter how far left.

The fact that the Republican Party is a coalition of social conservative, economic conservatives, gun rights supporters, property rights activists, and immigration reformers. If you fail to have a candidate who satisfies the entire coalition, who moves their agenda forward in some tangible way, you risk losing the strength of the coalition. Republicans are strongest when we are united behind a candidate who shares our dreams and values. Whoever leads the Republican party must unite all Conservatives. So, in choosing a candidate we should be single issue voters for all of our constituencies.

Rudy Giuliani, in addition to his character problems is also a strong gay rights advocate and pro-abortion, even to the point of opposing the partial birth abortion ban.

John McCain supports stem cell research, spearheaded the effort to pass the abominable campaign finance reform act, and also is soft on immigration.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has been one of those most responsible for the run-away growth of the federal government in addition to embracing stem cell research.

Governor George Pataki (R-NY) is a moderate-to-liberal like Giuliani without the charisma or the personal appeal, who’d lose an election for a 4th term in New York.

Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-Mn.) has been widely floated as a candidate for President by many but has recently violated his no new-tax pledge in Minnesota.

Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Ar.) who has done great things in the state of Arkansas on social issues, but has been increased spending at an average clip of 7% a year. In addition, he doesn’t take the issue of illegal immigration seriously, as he stated recently that it isn’t a ‘real problem.’

Now having summarily dismissed eight potential presidential candidates, we’ll winnow the field further in my next column.


2 Responses to “Picking the President, Part One”

  1. Michael [Visitor] said

    I hope you will look at Governor Romney. He has a lot of what you are looking for. Massachusetts is a difficult place for republicans to gain legitimacy and he has been successful in that respect. He speaks his mind and can be quite controversial. Witness the recent comments he made about Muslim extremists.

    Before you dismiss him out of hand for being Mormon let me remind you of John F. Kennedy. Few thought a catholic had a chance to win the office.

  2. Adam Graham [Member] said

    Living in Idaho, I promise not to dismiss Governor Romney for being LDS.

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