Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thinning the Herd

Tim Pawlenty,  Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum,  Buddy Roemer, Herman Cain, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels...  I'm sure there are others, but these seem to be the Republican contenders for president.  Because I live in a state that has the double whammy of insignificance for primary votes, low population and a late primary, I often find the choice of candidates to have dwindled to nothing but a front runner by the time our primary rolls around.

I will therefore tell you who I would vote for and why, or why not.  Maybe some of you in the states that have primaries that matter can carry the torch for those of us who can't.

My criteria for people for whom I would vote are in order:

1.  Pro-life:  I'm personally stronger on the pre-born life issues than capital punishment.  We were all zygotes once, but most of us weren't serial killers.

2.  Getting us out of debt.  For this I want real business experience.  I want someone who has made hard choices and come out on top in the business world.

3.  Reducing the government to those jobs it was intended to do.  Protect us from foreign and domestic enemies, encourage business to stay here, and enforce the laws on the books.

4.  End entitlement programs for those who are or should be able to care for themselves.  I don't expect the government to pay for my son's education, my retirement, our health care...  Let us choose what charities we want to support.  Then get out of the way.

5.  Allow for true freedom of conscience among health care workers, teachers, etc. 

I'm going to stop with 5.  Now let's talk about who should be the Republican nominee.

Some of the names above fall off the list because of the criteria I just listed.  Being pro-life is non-negotiable, and so is having real business experience.  The candidates who do not meet both of those requirements are: Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin.  Maybe I'm being hard on some of these candidates, but my gut tells me these are not the candidates we are looking for.  They have too much baggage.  They may be pretty, they seem prone to mistakes.  I'd pick anyone on this list to head the Republican party as a fundraiser, but not as a policy maker.

Then there are the ones that may be okay, but at this time they are fighting for name recognition, and this American voter doesn't have time to crawl up that learning curve.  If these candidates want to succeed, they better get some serious press.  Soon.  They are:  Tim Pawlenty, Buddy Roemer, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Mitch Daniels, and Herman Cain.  I'm a news junkie, so I know something about some of these people.  I'd vote for any of them that can rise to the top.  I'd support them.  But they all have work to do to become a meaningful threat to Obama.

That leaves me with Michele Bachmann and Chris Christie.  Bachmann has chops, but her eye contact is going to dog her after her SOTU response.  I like her.  I have contributed to her campaigns.  She would be a good vice presidential pick.  I would not worry about her being a heartbeat away from the presidency.  ( I admit I pray for Obama's health because I'm afraid of a President Biden.)

But the best choice out there is a man who says he won't run.  Chris Christie says he came to his pro-life views when he heard his child's heartbeat.  Many pro-life people came to their beliefs in the same way.  As we fight to require an ultrasound before abortions, his testimony would be persuasive.

He's doing all the right things with debt and taxes in New Jersey.  He's fun to listen to.  When he speaks, people cheer and jeer.  It's like the way one feels when watching a football game.  When you see them fighting for yards, you get excited.  You start saying, "Come on, come on, get 'em..."

Who besides Chris Christie can bring that to the race?


Denise said...

Sarah Palin has business experience - she and Todd have run a small business. She has executive experience as mayor and governor. She is 100% pro-life.

Chris Christie is a RINO. You state that pro-life is a top issue for you and yet Christie supported the pro-abort Castle in the DE Senatorial campaign.


Ranting Catholic Mom said...

I know Sarah Palin meets the first two criteria, my point about her and the rest in that paragraph is that they have too much baggage. I acknowledge Christie's faults. I didn't know about Castle. thanks for the lesson. I needed it and wanted it.

TerentiaJ said...

Great list of atrributes. I agree with them all. I learned something about Christie, too, but the lesson I learned may be a little different. I (and I suspect many others) am so tired of voting for someone I don't like because the alternative is worse. I'm tired f being told I have to settle for ineffective, go-along-to-get-along types. As a result, I frequently ride the pendulum all the way to the other extreme. Any candidate who wants my support had better be absolutely perfect as defined by ME. The problem is, that is just as defeating as settling.

Anonymous said...

Skipped over from CMR - great list. I have issues with Christie. Though I'm delighted he's found his pro-life legs and I hope he's contagious, there are many peripheral inconsistencies that make me a little uneasy about him. I keep coming back to Herman Cain - he's likely the best man for the job, but you're right, he's not widely known. I wish I had a pivotal insight on how to fix that.
Maybe he'd be a good VP choice, actually get some work done, and be in the queue for 2020.

Ranting Catholic Mom said...

I also like Herman Cain. He needs to be better known, then I'll work for him. Add him to facebook if you have it or find another way to promote him with all of the people you know!

Bingo Wasis said...

Wholeheartedly agree with your criteria, but looking for the other ones. In fact, I am shocked that foreign affairs/national security would not play a role in ANYONE's evaluation of a person for POTUS. Unless I missed something.

I like Allen West! Who is a rock star on security and has said about Life (among other things), "Human life is sacred, and I make no distinction between the born and unborn." Budget, check, etc.

Allen West is worth a good look.

Ranting Catholic Mom said...

I knew I should have put foreign policy first. And if I did, John Bolton would make the list of those who could be great if they had name recognition. I don't know Allen West.

Anonymous said...

since you admit your vote at the state level won't matter too much, why limit yourself to Republicans? Joe Schriner!
(disclaimer: I don't have a dog in this hunt, I'm not American. But when elephants go to war, mice hide)

Anonymous said...

When you say Palin has too much baggage, what exactly are you talking about? The baggage that the media has saddled her with? I am completely bewildered by the knee jerk reaction to Sarah Palin.

Ranting Catholic Mom said...

Yes, I mean the baggage that Sarah Palin has been saddled with by the media. she and the others in that first group can expect to have every mistake and every bad day repeated in video for the entire campaign. I love Sarah Palin, but I think she would be a better chairman of the RNC than a president. She's working on her credibility, but... Obama worked on his credibility too. Just because Dems set the experience bar low by electing Obama, doesn't mean we should copy them. That said, she has better experience than him by a long shot. I think the better candidate is Herman Cain. With Sarah as a running mate, that would be ideal!