Adam’s Blog

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

Picking the President, Part Two

Posted by Adam Graham on October 3, 2005

Before I get into examining more presidential candidates, I have to respond for some of the criticism of eliminating 7 oft-mentioned candidates from consideration in the first column.

First of all, if you’re just looking for a winning race horse that you can slap a Republican label on and say that you picked the winner, then you can stop reading. This article is for people who want to elect a candidate who will make our country better and stronger, not just keep a party in power. I believe that Republicans can be forthright and honest with the American people and still win.

Now, there’s certainly a place for discussing electability, but there are several factors one must consider in that analysis, including the fact that the experts are often wrong and the amateurs are wrong even more often. To choose a candidate based on electability is to choose someone based on people reading tea leaves.

In addition, when choosing candidates who stand in opposition to coalitions that are already ticked off at our party such as Budget Hawks and Immigration reformers, the whole winning equation goes to pot, if part of the coalition stays home or goes third party.

Some have said that national security wasn’t given big enough consideration in the issues I discussed. Indeed, the argument for several candidates rests on the fact that we need a strong leader during the war on terror. I’d ask our friends to start naming Republican potential candidates who can’t lead our nation and lack the ability to fight the War on Terror. Who are you going to accuse of a lack of patriotism, courage, and determination? I find no one. If most of our candidates are strong on the War on Terror, that’s not going to help us narrow down our list and choose a candidate, so therefore we go to other factors.

A related argument for the candidacy of twice divorced pro-partial birth abortion former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is that in the aftermath of the Bush Administration response to Hurricane Katrina, America needs leadership. What I find so fascinating about this argument is that it never occurs to them to support Governor Haley Barbour (R-Ms.) who showed great leadership in the actual hurricane zone.

Easy Elimination

There are a number of candidates that many people mention in conjunction with the race that are fairly easy to dismiss, because they’ve disclaimed interest.

Most notable is Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice who back in March said, “I do not intend to run for–no. I will not run for president of the United States. How is that? I don’t know how many ways to say “no” in this town. I really don’t.” Apparently, not enough ways for the people who keep bringing up her name in every discussion of Presidential candidates.

Also not running is Governor Jeb Bush (R-Fl.), Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Governor Bill Owens (R-Co.), Governor Mark Sanford (R-Sc.) or Vice-President Dick Cheney. To bring any of these names shows stubbornness and/or just plain ignorance.

The Next Tier of Candidates

Governor Mitt Romney (R-Ma.) has led a valiant fight against gay marriage in Massachusetts. In addition, he’s come forward with innovative ideas on health care, while balancing the state’s budget and rooting out corruption and abuse in Massachusetts government.

However, I do have two serious concerns about Governor Romney (R-Ma.) To begin with Governor Romney’s views on abortion and gay rights have evolved radically from previous campaigns. In 1994 he said, “regardless of one’s beliefs about choice, you would hope it would be safe and legal.” Now, he believes abortion should illegal except for rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

His views on gay rights have also evolved in recent years as well. As late as 2002, Romney was participating in the Gay Rights’ activist “Gay Pride day.” He also favored civil unions before changing his mind.

Now, while it may just be being from Massachusetts that makes Romney flip flop so much, I’m concerned about a Presidential candidate whose core values fluctuate so radically as he prepares to run for President.

In addition, Romney concerns me in regards to electability. There is talk that he will not seek re-election as Governor of Massachusetts to focus on the ’08 run. This should set off red flags. In the 2004 election despite pouring millions into campaigning for Republicans, the GOP lost 3 seats in the state legislature. In addition, according to the latest survey, Romney’s approval rating stands at 51%. When looking at President Bush’s gubernatorial record, we could see how he strengthened Republicans in Texas, on his way to winning a record re-election in 1998. If he leaves the Bay State, Romney will in effect be admitting that he can’t keep his job with his moves to the right.

Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Ne.) is disliked by many Republicans. I, however, would not describe Hagel as a “RINO.” Hagel was not part of the gang of 14 that killed the Nuclear option. He has a strong pro-life, pro-family, pro-gun voting record. He’s been an opponent of government waste and opposed the huge Medicare prescription drug benefit. Hagel, unfortunately has spoken out of turn too many times on the Iraq War and has been seen by many as a grandstander in the style of John McCain. Unfortunately, I must concur. We’ve invested too much in Iraq to send an unclear message in nominating Hagel.

Finally, Former Governor and HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson (R-Wi.) is speculating about a presidential bid. I think Thompson was a great governor in the ’90s, what he did with education and welfare in Wisconsin was phenomenal.

I’m somewhat concerned by his support for stem cell research in Wisconsin. However, an even bigger concern is that Thompson missed his best chance. In 1996 or 2000, he would have been a wonderful presidential candidate, as the governor a Blue State that hasn’t voted for a GOP presidential candidate since Reagan. However, by ’08, it’ll have been 10 years since he’s been elected to anything and his glory days from the mid-90s will be long forgotten and I just can’t see him as a serious force in this race.

This piece gone quite a bit longer than I normally like to. I’ll examine more potential candidates in my next article.

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5 Responses to “Picking the President, Part Two”

  1. Michael [Visitor] said

    Mitt Romney is on the ticket if he wants it .

  2. You write, “To bring any of these names shows stubbornness and/or just plain ignorance,” while sucessfully discounting every single potential candidate for the Presidency.

    Your article fails to come up with even one favorable candidate. Who will your next suggest, Dr. Keyes? Dan Quayle?
    Dr. Keyes is of course, has many sterling qualities, and I have supported him twice before in the GOP presidential primaries, but lets face it, his political fortunes are negligible. And as for Mr. Quayle…

    You believe that the Republican Parties best and only hopes to defeat Hillary Clinton, Bill Owens, Jeb Bush and particularly Mark Sanford, won’t run simply because they declare themselves unwilling to run. As former Keyes supporters, we are no strangers to forlorn hopes…hopes which show great promises. Much is at stake in 2008. 2008 present conservatives with their last chance to retake the Republican Party. Indeed, it will be as pivotal a year as 1964.

    In 1964, another candidate who had no wish to be President led the conservative takeover of the Republican Party.
    Are you familiar with the DraftGoldwater for President movement, which came into being in 1960 and was spearheaded by conservative leaders, William Rusher and Clifton White.
    You are no doubt famliiar with what they achieved. Barry Goldwatere had no wish to run for the Executive Office. To quote, John B. Judis, former editor of In These Times, and researcher on the American conservative movement,
    “By these words, Goldwater appeared to commit himself to a run for the presidency in 1964, but repeated attempts by conservatives to secure Goldwater?s pledge failed abysmally. At a private meeting called six weeks after the campaign by six close supporters, Goldwater refused even to discuss the possibility of a run in 1964. He refused again at a private meeting in Palm Beach in December 1961. At meetings in November 1961 and January 1962 with Clifton White, the organizer of the Draft Goldwater Movement, Goldwater earnestly attempted to discourage White. He made clear that
    he believed New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller would be the nominee in 1964.”

    It can happen again. The Republican Liberty Committee has committed itself to a Draft Sanford 4 President movement. Of all the Presidential candidates, Governor Mark Sanford, has the the least liabilities, the most integrity, and electibility, as well as a healthy dose of political acumen. He does not desire the presidency, but that should make his candidancy only more desirable to conservatives.

    Conservatives have a clear choice now. They can get screwed in 2008 by Sam Brownback or some other moderately evil loser, or they can unite behind a strong conservative like Sanford…let him know that he isthe people’s choice, like Goldwater, and proceed to retake their party.

    The decision is ours, yours and mine.

  3. Adam Graham [Member] said

    Well, first of all, there’s a reason that there’s no positive reccomendation and that’s that this is a four part series with the positive reccomendation coming towards the end. I assure you I will have one and it will be a true conservative.

    If Sanford would run, he’d be a fine candidate but when someone says no in such a definitive way, I look elsewhere. The Presidential campaign is a lot more daunting than in Goldwater’s day.

    I think the candidate I have in mind is going to be a strong conservative. I assure you it won be Quayle and it won’t be Keyes.

    We have a number of candidates yet to go through in Part Three and then I’ll certainly let you know what I decide in Part Four.

  4. “The Presidential campaign is a lot more daunting than in Goldwater’s day.”

    In two respects alone, money and connections. (Sanford has both, incidentally) Nothing else has changed…the media, the people and politics are remarkably the same.

  5. Adam Graham [Member] said

    Well, its a bigger committment timewise. In Goldwater’s day, the Presidential campaign was a few months. Now a serious campaign requires a committment of at least a year and a winning campaign for almost two. That’s a big chunk of your life to spend if you’re not sure.

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