Adam’s Blog

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

Picking the President, Part Three

Posted by Adam Graham on October 9, 2005

Part One
Part Two

Having previously examined a total of 10 candidates for president, we turn to some of the more Conservative candidates for president.

One popular name has been Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Co.) who is ardent proponent of immigration reform. Tancredo has helped bring the issue of illegal immigration to the national forefront and for that he should be applauded. He’s been talking about this since 1999 and its quickly becoming a front-burner issue.

While I have no doubts about Tancredo’s stance on immigration, I question his ability to appeal to the whole Republican party. Tancredo has been in the news about one issue and one issue alone and has shown no ability to speak to the concerns of other issues that concern Republicans.

Tancredo is generally Conservative with a strong 98% ACU career rating and having been on the National Taxpayers Union’s “Friend of the Taxpayers” list ever year since he came to Congress in 1999. However, Tancredo has not taken sufficient steps to avoid racializing the immigration debate which hurts the immigration reform cause and would hurt Republicans in the general election. Given that he, himself concedes that a campaign is unlikely to go anywhere, I see little point wasting time on a campaign where the candidate doesn’t think he could win.

Senator Sam Brownback (R-Ks.) is a great social conservative leader. He’s been a force on culture of life issues as well as the marriage amendment. Brownback’s fiscal record has been mixed, as he voted for the Medicare Prescription drug package which has been the bane of economic conservatives, however, his record since arriving in Congress has been relatively strong, never garnering a grade of less than B- from the National Taxpayers Union. Brownback has been involved another of international humanitarian issues such as the suffering in Sudan.

My concern with Brownback are two-fold. First, is whether he has the potential to win the presidency. I’ve got to tell you that I’ve got doubts. Although, it is somewhat pleasing to see the American left go into fits of epilepsy at the words “President Brownback” as they believe his campaign to be a plot by the Catholic organization Opus Dei to take over the country. Aside from secret money coming in from the Vatican (as the left reverts to pre-JFK fear-mongering on Catholics) I’m not certain that means he’s capable of winning given his lack of charisma, and whether he’ll be able to inspire enough people to make his campaign work. His stand on immigration will be anathema to those who advocate immigration reform. He has received a career “D” grade for Americans for Better Immigration.

Next is Governor Haley Barbour (R-Ms.) who did a fantastic job in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He’s began efforts in Mississippi to reduce the number of abortions by changing hearts one at a time. Barbour has resisted the urge to raise taxes even under pressure from local media. Also, as a former RNC chairman, Barbour would have the contacts necessary to raise funds for a presidential campaign.

The negatives of Barbour are found in two things. First is his Washington insider status. Barbour founded one of the most powerful lobbying firms in Washington. Already, some groups have connected Barbour to his firm’s lobbying efforts on behalf of the Mexican government. In addition, Barbour was investigated in the 1996 campaign finance scandal. He also would face some questions from social conservatives on his support for on-shore Casino gambling in Mississippi.

In addition, Barbour faces a daunting challenge if he wishes to run for President and re-election as Mississippi Governor. Mississippi is one of three states that will elect a Governor in 2007. Any serious presidential campaign has to start in early, 2007. In effect, he would have to run two campaigns at once. Alternately, he could announce he wouldn’t seek a second term as governor but that could bring into question his electability.

Senator George Allen (R-Va.) is one of the best potential candidates for President. He is a man who after a term in the Senate knows Washington well, but also has the benefit of executive experience that a man like Senator Brownback or Congressman Tancredo lacks. He was a key player in Republican gains in the Senate last term as leader of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee.

Allen has two real problems. First, his record on fiscal issues while not terrible has been mediocre at best. He backed the prescription drug benefit for Medicare which creates a huge new entitlement. Allen has also issued ambiguous statements on abortion. Professor Ed Lynch writes:

“Allen has to clarify his position on abortion. During his run for the Senate in 2000, I twice heard Allen attempt to explain his stand on this issue. Neither attempt was very successful. Allen said that he would not restrict abortion during the first trimester, since at that early point in the pregnancy, it is not certain that there is another person involved.”

Now Professor Lynch is confident that with some study, Allen will come to the conclusion that life begins at conception and provide a clear position on the issue. As he has yet to do so, its not at certain that he will be able to unite Conservatives, or whether when he faces closer scrutiny, he will in fact, divide Conservatives.

I’ve covered all the potential Republican candidates I’m aware of in these past three columns, save one, the candidate I will recommend. However, understanding that my pick may not run, in my next piece, I’ll turn to the topic of what candidates I’ve discussed can do to improve their standing among conservatives come 2008.

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2 Responses to “Picking the President, Part Three”

  1. Pence fan [Visitor] said

    Mike Pence??????????????

  2. A Pence fan? I have news for you. Congressmen don’t get elected to the presidency…especially poor congressmen who’ve never held a real job before.

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