November 6, 2012. We are officially less than eighteen months away from it, but this day looms large for many Americans and for a large part of the world. On this day, American voters will elect a President.
As of right now, there aren’t many things we know for sure. Here a few I know with 95-100% certainty:
- President Barack Obama will be running. He appears to be the only legitimate Democrat candidate that will seek the Democrat Party nomination.
- The GOP has a plethora of candidates that have announced an intent to seek the nomination of the party. Of these GOP candidates, there is no clear front-runner.
- America is as polarized a nation today as it has ever been.
These “certainties” may wind up being complete fallacies, but for now they look like truths. America remains entrenched in two wars, our debt is mounting rapidly, unemployment remains a serious issue , union “rights” are “under attack” (what happened the that ‘New Tone’ everyone was clamoring for in January?) and the chasm between the political parties feels impossibly wide. As the RNC and GOP watch the potential candidates tour the country to get a sense of their possible support, many conservative are lining up behind their chosen selection and lines are being drawn.
Whether Romney, Gingrich, Cain, Paul, Johnson, Santorum, Pawlenty or any of the other names being tossed around (Ryan, Bachmann, West, Christie, Palin, Pence, Graham, Daniels), the RNC must believe it has a chance to turn the tide by winning the White House back in 2012. The RNC is probably thrilled with the recent decisions of Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump, who both announced that they would not seek the GOP nomination in the past week which should serve to help narrow the field. There is also a possibility that the GOP could retake the Senate in 2012. Democrats must defend 23 seats (including two Independent Senators that caucus with the Democrats) to the 10 Republican seats the GOP controls.
With the direction of American under intense scrutiny, the GOP appears to be in a position to upset President Obama.
Conservatives around the country may finally be ready to learn something from the Democrat Party: do your best to nominate the best option, and no matter what happens, SUPPORT THE NOMINEE. In 2008, I couldn’t bring myself to vote for McCain/Palin, and now I regret it. I know there were plenty out there like me (though likely not enough to defeat President Obama).
With all of that in mind, the looming question is who can actually win
the nomination and defeat the financial juggernaut that President Obama will have at his disposal? I blogged
a few weeks ago about the type of Republican I thought would be needed to win in 2012. I’m beginning to regret that post as things continue to spiral downward. What I mean isn’t that the four points wouldn’t help a Republican win; I simply mean I no longer believe they will be as critical to defeating President Obama.
Why the change of heart? A few reasons.
- The Federal Debt Limit and our Financial Stability.
- Foreign Policy and Immigration.
- Unemployment & Job Creation.
- States Rights.
These issues as described above are broad, no doubt. If I combined them, I believe they aren’t mutually exclusive. So why these few? Because each issue will play a direct role in the direction America takes after 2012. A common sound bite from conservative media across the country could sound something like this; “I am afraid that if we don’t right the ship in 2012, we won’t have another chance.”
So, if the GOP believes conservatives can right the ship, who should they nominate? It has become a question Democrats love to hear. With each passing week, more and more people are aligning behind their candidate of choice. Right now, it feels like the America is the dealer at a table full of candidates, and President Obama is sitting behind a big stack of chips. The other players are all playing slowly, trying to avoid being put out too early. This approach is troubling because when no one takes any chances, everyone looks weak… except for the big stack.
It’s time for the GOP to make some phone calls and kindly ask some candidates to withdraw. It’s also time to contact other possibles and tell them to pony up or officially announce that they will not seek the nomination. Although it sounds absurd, the American people might actually need fewer options.
The GOP needs to ask who presents problems. Which candidates do?
- Romney: RomneyCare and his propensity for changing positions on critical issues (known as flip-flopping) makes me wonder if he can be trusted.
- Gingrich: He’s a not-so-rare conservative; twice-divorced, twice a public adulterer and thrice-married. He simply looks like the Grand OLD Party, and of late he’s made some fairly ridiculous statements (well-documented by Jon Stewart earlier this week).
- Palin: Just stay on the sidelines giving the media something to talk about. It would be appreciated by my generation of conservatives.
- Johnson: Pro-choice Republicans are really Independents. He’s not a conservative at all. Au revior, Gary.
- Bachmann: See Palin.
- Graham: A well-known compromiser. I understand the value as a Senator, but as President I want someone with a firm agenda.
- Paul: I like Ron Paul. I think he is a great legislator and, more than most, has educated his constituency extremely well. He cannot motivate or inspire voters in my opinion, and his style can be interpreted as demeaning. I see that in the current President, and it’s not an admirable quality (see the Texas “What do they want; a moat?” speech).
So, there are seven candidates I don’t believe can win for one or more reasons. As of right now, I think the front-runners are Cain, Pawlenty and Daniels. Two of these men have not formally announced; Cain and Daniels, though Cain is expected to announce this weekend in Atlanta. None of these names are household names, and I like it that way. Cain has no political experience, but neither did President Obama (zing). Daniels has been making some big moves in Indiana that will endear him to conservatives. I’ve heard both Cain and Pawlenty speak in the past year, and I can say I’d be pleased to see either win the nomination.
After that, it’s up to conservatives to unite behind the nominee, contribute heavily, overrun the polls and elect a conservative.