Presidential Possibilities: What Might Wisconsin Suggest?
First, both internationally and domestically, there is so much agitation in the world today, that we proceed with trepidation to political business as usual; events could at anytime render it relatively trivial. But in fact, the tumult in Wisconsin which will be followed in other states, might instuct us on what may be required of a new candidate and president. Who can face down the kind of opposition that cleaning up our historic mistakes will face? We need a proven, sober executive to manage us out of this recession and deep fiscal crisis. Many have delayed starting this presidential campaign and not without good reason. But I bring strong sentiments to this particular Republican contest, and others are crystallizing. Let’s consider potential candidates, starting with one of those I have strong feelings about and whom polls rate highly.
Let me first say and it should not surprise anyone that I think much of the polled public doesn’t know what it is doing.
I would like to see Mitt Romney given another post where he could be useful, because I DON’T WANT HIM TO BE PRESIDENT, or the Republican nominee. He could possibly win, if Obama continues to be so bad that people will vote for anything else. But don’t hold your breath for new life in America. I don’t dislike the man, though he is…well, rather elastic about his agenda depending on the political climate and what he sees as the necessity of a campaign. But he has a nice family and…he has a nice family. He wants it bad. Because he has managed some large operations personally and through Bain Capital, and he’s wealthy, people think he’d be a wizard with the economy. But I don’t think so. Streamlining a large operation is not the same thing as cultivating an environment that optimizes opportunity for a full national population. I’ll refer back to Romney in discussion of others who if they register any success will be smeared by his money.
Mike Huckabee: I supported him from his announcement to his withdrawal in the 2008 cycle. I know and have seen and do see all of the charges of “RINO” and “liberal.” Again, people don’t know what they are talking about, but open wide and swallow what other people spoon them. Romney was the most lavish spooner. But I supported Huckabee precisely because he was the most conservative in the field. And I do know what I’m talking about. For example, Huckabee was the only one who never supported TARP. I know many said it was necessary to save the country. Just like Obama saving Ammerica from “another Great Depression”: nonsense. Principle, you see. By the way, since Obama took office, THIS is the longest period of high unemployment and a non-expansive economy that we’ve had since The Great Depression. But, Huckabee may very well not want to have Romney mischaracterize him with millions of dollars when he has his FOX gig. And unlike last time, there are plenty of strong possibilities.
Sarah Palin: I like her, no matter what ignorant people say. I have considerable distaste for the Ivy League prejudice. That means nothing. Obama is qualified in that regard, and he’s a disaster. Palin's one of the top candidates in the fortitude department; stronger than Obama, even if you discount his obviously wrong and destructive ideological disposition. She has proven her resolve, mettle, and creativity in her executive experience. But, she’s been so beat up, it has filled a lot of American minds and sub-consciousnesses with the distortions. Look at what she’s actually done and the pluck with which she’s done it. If she wants to have a run at it, it will take both extraordinary fortitude and an extraodinary communication facility to overcome that. I don’t know if she can, but I wouldn’t oppose her.
Tim Pawlenty: I like him too, and his philosophy and disposition. After twice winning non-majority victories in three and four candidate races for Minnesota governor, you wonder if he would pull his home state. It’s just darned hard for me to forget: Senator Al Franken. But, he has a tall order to outshine all others. He seems an able administrator, but he’ll have to turn on that exceptional charisma and communication ability that he hasn’t needed thus far.
Herman Cain: He obviously has enthusiasm and charisma on his side. And he’s a proven business executive with the heart of a patriot. The “political experience” prerequisite is only slightly more valid than the Ivy League one. And if Herman Cain were the Republican nominee, even black people could question Obama’s obvious failures and support Cain without charges of betraying their race.
Pence and Christie strongly say they’re out.
Undeclared and seemingly unmotivated by the celebrity of it is Mitch Daniels. But, he cares about the country and is suitably anxious about its precarious status. He will decide later. But his greatest drawback is that he’s just another politically experienced white guy, and poses no identity politics draw. His greatest asset is everything else. He has the facility to relate his proper concern in brief, direct, and ironic and pointed terms language, which may be near the sum of his sizzle. But he has substance for days. Writing about Daniels last week, George Will who has said Daniels should run, wrote, “Under him, Indiana has its fewest state employees since 1978, the nation's lowest state-government employment per capita, the lowest effective property taxes and the third-lowest per capita spending.” Daniels was easily reelected to his second term in Indiana while Barack Obama won the state in the presidential election, and Indiana now sits as one of the nations’s healthiest state governments. Be assured, if Daniels were the Republican nominee, Obama would not win Indiana again, which might be a challenge against anyone without an unforeseen employment boom. But against Daniels, they could write it off. Ohio with Governor John Kasich would be a tall order, too. If Democrats lose Indiana and Ohio and any of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania with their Republican governors, it’s hard to add up a national win. You can still register to watch Daniels’ clear and sober address at the CPAC conference banquet, as well as Romney’s and Pawlenty’s speeches at http://video.cpac.org/ .
Daniels is pro-life, but in the face of America’s fiscal crisis, suggested that we “call a truce” on social issues. I’m unequivocally pro-life, and I take that to mean only that we should unite the country on the urgency of the fiscal situation. But I’m sure that Romney would hammer him with those words, even though he ran for governor of Massachusetts as no threat to social liberalism, and for Massachusetts Senate against Ted Kennedy. And he switched in 2007 for his presidential run. Anyway, I’ve watched Romney for the entire 2008 campaign, at the 2008 Texas Republican Convention, and since, and he has never impressed me as someone defined and driven by a clear vision. It doesn’t mean I’m mad at him. It means I don’t want him to be the Republican nominee, or even to be president at this particularly critical time. He has impressed me as someone who wants to win. But even in that regard, I think he’d be our weakest candidate for responding directly to Obama’s record and rhetoric. And I think he’d be the Democrats’ easiest target as an out-of-touch, pro-corporate, indifferent-to-the individual rich guy.
Daniels is that driven, able and proven guy who can assure the many Americans who are concerned about our economic and fiscal situation. Right now he looks like our strongest candidate, and if someone else doesn’t win me in the next few months and he enters the race, I’ll be declaring for him.