I can't remember the last time I wrote a politically oriented post. It's been a long time. If you look at my archives you will see that my most prolific blogging period was 2008, an election year (I started blogging in 2007, so that was just a partial year). Many of my posts that year were about the presidential campaign. Each year since 2008 my output has gone down. Only sixty-three posts so far in 2011--wow! I need to step it up! One of the reasons for the decline in blogging has been the difficulty of the last few years. I guess life is never easy, is it? But there are things about the past four years that set them apart as some of the most totalizing I have ever experienced. I am hoping that I am personally ready to enter a new phase and I further hope that our country is as well.
So. There's an election coming. Next year, to be exact. And as my readers well know, I am a Republican, through and through. I cried the night Obama was elected, knowing what it meant for this country and wondering why so many people couldn't see it. Now some of my worst fears have come true. But the good news is that I think a lot of people who didn't see it before are seeing it now, and I think the country as a whole is ready to repudiate the direction we have taken.
The question, then, is who? Who is going to lead us out of this quicksand in which we find ourselves stuck and fast sinking?
I don't have a candidate yet. But for those who are interested, here is my very quick take on the people that have either announced or are likely to announce or that some are hoping will announce for the presidential campaign.
Mitt Romney. He has repeatedly demonstrated a finger-in-the-wind method of arriving at his "principles." He refuses to repudiate his failed state-run healthcare system. He embraces global warming theory. And yes, I do have concerns about his Mormonism.
Newt Gingrich. Serial committing of adultery. Throwing Paul Ryan under the bus. Campaign staff has lost faith and deserted him. I rest my case.
Sarah Palin. I'm sorry, Palin fans. There is much to love about her, and I do. I think she is a great one to have on our side. But I think she has gone overboard on the folksy factor. In my opinion the leader of the free world needs to exude a certain seriousness and dignity and--okay, I'll say it--gravitas--that I don't think she has. The President needs to seem as well as be smarter than the rest of us. He/she needs to be someone we are comfortable with, yes, but also someone we are slightly in awe of. Palin doesn't do that for me.
Michelle Bachmann. I like her a lot. She has the right views. Her personal history speaks well of her. I think she has some of the seriousness Palin lacks. As a Lutheran, though, I think it is unfortunate that she has apparently left her church body, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, for political reasons.
Jon Hunstman. I really don't know much about him. Need to find out more. My husband likes him.
Tim Pawlenty. Hubby likes him, too. A serious, capable candidate with experience and conservative credentials.
Rick Santorum. I heard him on Rush this week and was very impressed. He spoke authoritatively and engagingly and he, too, has excellent conservative credentials combined with some foreign policy cred.
Herman Cain. Love to hear him talk. A true conservative, as far as I can tell. Great personal history. He gets the outside-the-beltway badge. But I think the "lack of experience" baggage will dog him. Very weak on foreign policy.
Ron Paul. Probably the smartest of all of them. If only people would listen to him. But if they still aren't after all these years I doubt they will start now. I think that, like Sarah Palin, he is to some extent hampered by his own brand.
The ONES I WISH WOULD RUN--One of them has to, don't you think?
John Bolton. Talk about gravitas! He's got in in spades! He makes Obama look like a teenager!
Chris Christie. I love his fearlessness and plain-speaking. Image-wise, he is the anti-Obama, a huge plus. But one of my Facebook friends has called him a RINO and I'm not sure why. Any thoughts on that?
Paul Ryan. A fiscal conservative with a plan to get us out of the economic mess in which we find ourselves. Incredibly articulate. Family man and Roman Catholic. Can go toe-to-toe with Obama intellectually.
Rick Perry. Has a Reaganesque, larger-than-life quality. Record of success in Texas. Married for 30 years to the same woman. Right now, would quickly go to the top of my list if he were to run (and it looks like he may).
Have I left anyone out?
For the record, I will support the GOP nominee whoever he or she is, and that includes Romney (I don't think Gingrich has a chance at the nomination). There is no such thing as a perfect candidate. But there is such a thing as Not Obama. And I will vote for Not Obama, whoever he or she is, while urging all other Not Obama supporters to band together and do the same. We cannot afford to splinter. We have got to pull our country back from the brink. Not everyone will pull us back as far as we would like to go. I hope we get a true conservative and I will work as hard as I can to support that effort. But ultimately, this election is about not going over the cliff. I know there are some who say that has already happened. I disagree. It's not too late to put on the brakes and back up the car. But we have to be in the same car, and there is only room for one driver. Let's get to work figuring out who should be behind the wheel, and then let's pile in the car and hit the road together!