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Friday, June 19, 2015

So many Republican candidates, so little time........

Links: A. Jeb Bush running for President.
           B. Donald Trump running for President.

Recently a well-publicized political cartoon highlighted a clown car, with one Republican presidential candidate after another stepping out of the car door.  I thought it was a clever cartoon, and I had no problem understanding the intended point: that the field of candidates on the GOP side has become so large, that its beginning to resemble a circus.  And who am I too argue?  Just a quick review of some of the occupants of the clown car explains why the media has no intention of taking the Republican Primary Election seriously, at this not until convention-time.  The first funny-face we recognize in the back seat is businessman and entrepreneur Donald Trump.  I have no idea why Trump us running for president.  He must realize that even if he were to somehow win the GOP nomination, he would never win a national contest.  So what is Trump's game?  Is it all about publicity, and hawking some new casino or television program? Obviously publicity is part and parcel of Trump's campaign; the guy can't have a bowel movement without a camera running in the bathroom.  Maybe I'm being a bit unfair, but I have listened the few times that I've heard Trump actually discuss policy.  He comes across as a fiscal conservative and a social moderate.  I see nothing new here, and certainly nothing very deep.  He claims to be worth nine billion dollars.  I assume, when you have that much money, that you don't need to fund raise, right?  If Trump announces that he will use only his own personal funds to run his campaign, then he just might win me over.  He is a very hard-working man, who doesn't like to fail.  I have a great deal of respect for his accomplishments as a man and a businessman.  But I want Trump to pay for his own election, and I'm not holding my breath.

And in this corner of the crazy clown car we have a member of America's most esteemed conservative (?) political family, former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush.  Jeb Bush is a nice man.  I've never met anyone who would say otherwise.  He is considerate, polite and generous.  I'm sure he was raised well.  He was a fine Governor of Florida, and at the right time, would probably make a decent president.  I hate to join the chorus, Jeb, but I'm just not ready for another Bush (or Clinton, for that matter). I have to believe that our nation is deeper than that.  When I look at the line-up standing outside of the clown-car, I am astonished by some of the familiar faces that I see.  And Jeb Bush is the most recognizable.  For me personally, I am a bit insulted that certain politicians keep coming around for another shot.  Do they really believe that the United States can't survive without them?  Are they so important, that we can't find someone with less baggage and a newer perspective to be our nominee?  I won't vote for Jeb Bush unless he is the nominee.  Same rule applies for Mike Huckabee. I want new ideas, new visions and fewer reminders about the past.  I remember it well enough on my own, thank you.  For the same reasons, if I were a Democrat I wouldn't be voting for Hillary Clinton.

Another look into the clown car takes us to Rick Santorum, whose been sitting on the jump seat.  Just like Jeb and Mike Huckabee, I really like Rick Santorum.  Of the three, he is the one most likely to get my attention.  I supported Rick in vain during the last few primaries in 2012, but if I'm not mistaken, Santorum was around in 2008 as well.  And this following an unsuccessful effort to hold on to his Senate seat in Pennsylvania.  This is a perfect example of the issue that I find so frustrating.  Rick, I know you love public service and you feel strongly about your ideas for our country, but it would do you well to find something else to do for a while.  I am not alone when I say I'm not looking for anymore politicians-for-life, regardless of their honesty, integrity and generosity, all of which Rick Santorum has in abundance.  If Santorum had taken a break in 2012, and spent a few years driving his own car, writing his own checks, and living the life of a middle class American, I would be much more predisposed to his candidacy.  But Santorum has basically been running for the GOP nomination since 2012, even though he hasn't had a whole lot of resources.  I have tremendous admiration for Santorum; I would have appreciated a Catholic nominee, and I agree with Rick on every issue.  But I made up my mind that in 2016, I would vote for the candidate that I believe our founding fathers would have supported.

Although I would be very comfortable with a Rand Paul nomination, or Ted Cruz, I am sticking with my original choice and voting for Dr. Ben Carson.  I am determined to support a non-politician, regardless of the comments I hear on Fox and CNN that Dr. Carson does not debate well or speak smoothly enough to win the presidency.  Bullshit.  I am really excited about the opportunity to vote for someone who has spent their life saving lives and bringing new life into this world.  I understand his ideas regarding the economy and our tax code because he takes a simple approach and like most Americans, I'm a simple man.  Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are not the only other candidates that I respect; under different circumstances I would vote for Rick Perry and Marco Rubio (a few more years, Marco).  And Carly Fiorino would make a tremendous Vice Presidential nominee; I would love to see her in a debate!  I'm leaving off a few of the other announced candidates.  I really don't know what to make of Lindsay Graham.  Half the time I love him and half the time I'm convinced he's a closet Democrat.  Scott Walker is a solid Republican who has stood up to the best that the Unions and the left have to offer.  My issue with Walker has nothing to do with him, per se.  I can't support someone as the Republican nominee for president, who is the governor of a state that will never vote Republican.  It an important factor.  Carson will finally help the GOP make inroads into the African American electorate; Rand Paul is strong in Ohio and Rubio and Bush can deliver Florida.  From the perspective of the electoral map, what does Walker deliver?  Not even his own state of Wisconsin.  It unfortunate, but true.

So we've had our peak into the clown car, and the circus is getting ready to start.  The media is having a field day with the number and variety of GOP candidates, and I'm all for letting them have their fun.  When the Republican convention rolls around, the party will be united and our one candidate will be battle-tested and sharp.  I'm optimistic that those of us hoping for a more conservative administration in 2016 will see a GOP making fewer mistakes this time around.

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