Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time to Talk Politics ... The "C" Candidate

Time to take a break from philosophical pondering, photography, writing and poetry. I haven't written much about politics lately, but that doesn't mean I am not staying informed, watching the Republican Primary debates and forming my own opinions.  Here is my input into an on-line political discussion with friends.  The question was:  "Who will be the best next President of the U.S. for the future of our children? And why?"

My response  to this timely and thought-provoking question follows in the quotation below.  These are my personal opinions.  Each person is entitled to their own, but hopefully voters in this election will be informed and not just vote based upon emotion and rhetoric as they did in the last election.  This election Obama has a four-year term of words and actions --as well as inactions-- that speak to what he "can do for the country."

"I agree with Kris ... Newt has some brilliant ideas, but he is so hot-headed (a quality that is NOT Presidential). He also has a tendency to be arrogant and condescending. I truly wonder if he would listen to advisers at all if he were President. A presidency under Newt Gingrich might be more like a bull-dozing dictatorship? The words "Washington insider" come to mind as well. But at least he would be a decisive President who would let the rest of the world know that America is not for sale and that we won't be messed with --nor can our allies (e.g., Israel)-- and under no condition will America tolerate a nuclear Iran.  And some say Newt knows where all of the Washington skeletons are buried, as if that were a good thing?

Rick Santorum, Republican Candidate for President 2012

Romney seems to have a broader spectrum appeal. He is probably the best bet to beat Obama at this point, but I don't completely trust him. I don't like some of the things he did as governor in MA either (e.g., "Romney-Care" mandatory state-sponsored healthcare, akin to "Obama-Care").  "Middle-of the road" comes to mind when I ponder Romney as President. On the positive side, Romney would likely surround himself with good advisers and listen to their input.  Perhaps if Romney would stop beating around the bush and just release his tax returns (as all of the other candidates have already done) he could gain some valuable points on 'trustworthiness'.

Of all the candidates currently running in the Republican Primary, I like Rick Santorum the best.  Rick Santorum seems young and perhaps a bit lacking in experience, but I think that he would come up to speed quickly. He comes across as honest and trustworthy. Santorum's record shows that he is not afraid of hard work, nor is he afraid stand up and fight for what he believes is best for the country. I like what he said in the last debate ... that when he voted against some bill mandating 'right to work' in his state that he did so not because he disagreed with the bill in principle, but that he voted the "will of the people" that he represented at the time. It was very refreshing to hear a politician recognize and affirm this: "the will of the people" ... so many elected officials seem to forget this when they go to Washington.  Santorum has an impressive political record and some very sound ideas on the economy.  I like his plan to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States via U.S. companies currently making products in foreign countries.  I think that the latter plan would be a huge step in the recovery of our floundering economy.  Santorum is conservative, but he seems to be able to separate his personal views from what is best for country (e.g., he is personally opposed to birth control, but he says he feels that the right to use birth control is an indivduals choice and should  therefore be protected under the law).  I think after his impressive win in Iowa ( I don't care if Romney technically won by a handful of votes on the official tally.  In my book, Rick Santorum won Iowa because of the fact that he came from behind, in single digits, to a virtual win in the final count against Romney, who had been polling all along at number one and was the favorite to win in Iowa.) that with the right support, the backing of the GOP and a bigger PR machine that Santorum could conceivably beat Obama in the November 2012 election.  I also think that of the Republican candidates currently available to voters that Rick Santorum would be the best President for the country.

In my opinion, it is helpful that the field of Republican candidates is narrowing, because the candidates now get more detailed questions in the debates and more time to speak to each question (or rebuttal).  The five remaining candidates also now have more 'air' time and effective attention from potential voters.  In this way,  people (voters) can see what candidates (like Ron Paul) really stand for and what they would do to help or HARM the country as the case may be.  

On a different matter, but related because it speaks to what is "best for the country":  I can't believe that President Obama was bold enough to veto the Canadian Oil Pipeline project in an election year!?! Obama is for blowing money on 'green' companies like Solyndra (that go bankrupt with taxpayer money) in order to achieve energy independence from the Middle Eastern oil, but he will not support an alternative option to get oil right here on our own continent? The president says he's appeasing the environmental base, but in this economy with the rising tensions in the Middle East ... how can any informed and intelligent person actually believe that was truly his rationale? Is there now any remaining doubt? Obama wants to see American fall, thus advancing the agenda of rebuilding America in the liberal progressive image. His veto of the Canandian Pipeline (if it is not overturned by Congress) effectively shoots the United States of America in both knees with respect to our hopes of actually achieving energy independence in the near or perhaps any future. Even if Obama is not re-elected his legacy of weakening America, with this act in particular, will live on in the journal of history ... Is it too late to put the Pipeline to a vote of the people?  Well, hopefully the Congress can muster the gumption and the votes needed to override Obama's veto."

I did not mention Rick Perry in my comment above.  I realize that Perry is also a Republican Primary candidate; I just don't think that he is viable candidate for the Presidency at this particular point in time. Perry has done remarkable things for the economy in the state of Texas, but now is not the time for him run. Perry against Obama in this election would be played as Obama vs. the Bush II legacy and would most assuredly guarantee the re-election of Obama (and I happen to have the highest respect for former President George W. Bush, but many do not.).

In sum, I think I've changed my mind about the Venn diagram that I posted a few weeks back ...

Image Source: ME

At the time of posting this chart, I had said that "C seems to be a rather empty field."  That is to say, that there did not appear to be (at the time) a candidate who could both beat Obama and be the best overall President for the country.  Sitting here today, I don't think that we have to compromise with a candidate who can likely beat Obama, but may not be the best President for the country.  Sitting here today, I think that we have our "C" candidate in Rick Santorum.

3/2012 Update:   Rick Santorum's Plan for His First 100 Days in Office

And to correct a statement made above ... Rick Santorum did end up winning the State of Iowa.  At the time this post was written the State had erroneously been called for Mitt Romney.  A final tally, with some possible recounts, awarded Iowa and its delegates to Rick Santorum.

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