Do we elect the man or the tongue?
It would be apparent that this is the choice that we’re going to have to make sometime very soon before the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd. I hope this is sooner rather than later. The most recent polls indicate that Newt Gingrich is skyrocketing, Herman Cain is falling, Mitt Romney is wet wood that can’t catch fire, and Rick Perry still in the doghouse with most conservative voters.
Something that has been troubling me that I have noticed, particularly the conservative blogosphere, how everyone seems to love to magnify how a candidate might lose their train of thought as a sign of stupidity. That is just not the case. I cannot imagine the mountain of information that a candidate for the presidency has to process for both debate and to present on the campaign trail. Sure, the ability to articulate and sell a platform to the public with the aims of winning the presidency is an important and quite necessary skill. However, I have to wonder sometimes if we have all become so completely focused on the optics, the appearance of the candidate, that we are blinding ourselves to what is really important which are the records, character, and the candidate’s current stances on important issues.
When Election Night 2012 comes around next November, I will vote for whomever the GOP candidate is. They may not be who I would have preferred but it is my duty to vote. If we as conservatives are not happy whomever winds up with the nod, we can vote for the next most conservative candidate. We then can whip our elected GOP congressmen and leaders that represent us to keep them in check and let them know that we’re no longer laying down. Bottom line, if I don’t vote, then I am doing a dishonor to those whom have fought, bled, and died to give me that freedom to.
Back to the topic at hand, we have four candidates. I might argue three since Herman Cain’s comments regarding supporting collective bargaining rights for public sector employees should put his candidacy to rest. However, let’s say four.
Mitt Romney – Solid family man, great debater and speaker, record indicates he takes both sides of the issue to whatever the political climate or winds demand, been involved in politics for some time. There are some issues he has taken that are not conservative at all. I won’t highlight those here but many of you are well aware of what those are. Probably most importantly, particularly with the recent news out of the Supreme Court, is that aside from jobs and the economy, Obamacare looks to be a big issue in 2012. Judging by the overwhelming approval of Issue 3 in Ohio, this would be a very potent weapon for the GOP in 2012 that would get neutered with a Romney candidacy. This is because Obamacare was modeled after Romneycare and thus, is a de facto justification of passing the legislation.
Newt Gingrich – Great speaker and debater, incredibly knowledgeable, been proactive at advancing conservatism ideas, long career in politics. He has had extramarital affairs and has been divorced twice. There was the ethics charges and violations that he had while in Congress. The famous Nancy Pelosi couch scene in a global warming ad and the undercutting of Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” rollout with his right-wing social engineering comment. Then of course there are the other watered down compromises he made while he was in Washington that I won’t get into here.
Herman Cain – Strong family man(?) –Thanks David 123 :) with an alleged and in some cases, documented (settlements) wandering eye, successful businessman, cancer survivor, great debater and speaker, quite green from a knowledge standpoint outside the subject of economics and business as the foreign policy debate showed. Too impulsive to defer answering questions by saying “I would hire the best people.”
Rick Perry – Strong family man, not a very good debater, great speaker at public gatherings/campaign events and one-on-one interviews, very conservative with the exception of immigration and the Gardisal issues, in recent weeks has led the field of candidates on bold ideas in the areas of tax reform, foreign policy and Washington that are wonderful for conservatives to see but put sheer fright into liberals and the political establishment on both sides of the aisle.
In summary, by looking at this, there are some things that pop out. Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich look like they have struggles with being prudent men. They have an apparent history of putting themselves of situations they have no business being in. If Newt or Herman wind up losing the nomination or if he winds up winning the nomination, either winning or losing the general election, it will be because voters do not want a man with that kind of history in office and justly reject them or they will be gracious in forgiving them. Either way, the voters’ choice will be justified either way. I think the mountain will be quite tall because half of this country is women. Women don’t really care for men like that. Newt also may have a problem with people identifying him as a business as usual Washington politician from the past thus making it hard for them to believe him.
In regards to Rick Perry, if I could put Rick Perry’s record, his character, and his conservatism and blend them with Newt Gingrich’s debating skills, we would have one knockout candidate. However, that is not the case. His debate skills took a leap forward after having a bad trip. He is getting better and better as he becomes more comfortable. The immigration and Gardisil issues have been explained and Perry has apologized for his “heartless” comment. Perry also walked back his executive order in regards to the Gardisil issue. He felt like it was the right thing to do but listened to the public as well. The problem is a combination of the conservative voters willing to forgive him and having a lack of confidence in him because of his debate results.
Mitt Romney shows to match up head-to-head with Obama best according to polling match ups. (Update: This new Marist poll actually has Newt polling the best against Obama. This is the first poll that at least I have seen where a candidate other than Romney polls best against Obama.) He has been solid in the debates and has run a good campaign. The problem is though the conservative bloc really doesn’t want him to have the nod apparently. So long as there is a candidate out there that they feel will represent them and has the record to do so. This explains the chaos we see in the polls. Conservatives are not coming to a decision yet between Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, or Herman Cain yet. However, I think it is down to Newt and Rick.
My choice is sticking with Rick Perry. I have to admit again, and you all saw, I thought his goose was cooked after his brain freeze. I couldn’t imagine him coming back. And how did he and his campaign handle this adversity? Masterfully, with grace and humor, and kept going forward as if nothing had happened though the weight of the whole world may have crushed him. That’s presidential steel right there. How can you not want to follow a guy like that? He’s getting better with each debate as he becomes more polished with his platform, has a well funded campaign and infrastructure, has an incredibly bold conservative agenda, and has hit on a winning campaign them that he rolled out today. It’s reforming Washington, understanding that the majority of people in our country are as his book states “Fed Up.” And when I think about my concerns I have in regards to Perry’s immigration stances I have to ask myself “Are any of the other candidates immigration stances better than Perry’s?” If we have to whip congressmen to keep Perry in check here, I think this shouldn’t be too hard of a task. At least I know where he stands and he is the most consistent of any of the candidates.
He won’t have problems with the women’s vote like Newt and Herman will have. Though polls show that Perry is anywhere between 6-10 points in match-ups with Obama, the more people hear Perry out, what he stands for and has done as governor or Texas, the more appealing he will become. The differentiating contrast with what he has to offer with what Obama has to offer from an all-around standpoint will be quite striking. That will make the greatest impact on the voters’ minds and I am willing to bank that the polls will bear that out in a positive way. They will never have a more clear choice to make and the choice has never been more clearer in my mind.