They All Suck

Where's Our Obama? Must We Launch A Global Search?

By Erick Posted in Comments (194) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

They all suck. Let's just admit it. Every one of the thus far announced Republican candidates for President sucks. From the lecherous adulterer to the egomaniacal nut job to the flip-flopping opportunist with the perfect hair to the guy who hates brown people to the guy we've never heard of to the guy who has a better chance of getting hit by a meteor while being consumed by a blue whale being struck by lightening.

They all suck. (Well, okay, Brownback doesn't suck at all, but I perceive no viability for his candidacy.)

Read on . . .

That is one great benefit George W. Bush has right now. Compared to these guys, W. is the BSD (ask John Derbyshire if you don't know what that is and it has nothing to do with computers) king titan in charge. There is no one to offer inspiration, excitement, or an articulate defense of conservatism out there.

Part of me, frankly, wants Newt Gingrich to run. Don't get me wrong (or divorced; my wife can't stand the guy). I don't want the former speaker to actually win. I don't know that I'd trust him with that much power. He is the most articulate, honest defender of conservatism out there. His ideas are bold, they are conservative, and they are good. I don't agree with him on everything, but it would really be nice for him to get out there and pull everyone else to the right, to tell them why they are wrong, and why they are cowards for standing on the shoulder of Reagan while acting like the Manneken Pis on his legacy.

Reagan's conservative campaign was preceded by Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was caricatured by the Democrats and media as a spooky wingnut, but his ideas were honest, his defense of freedom legendary, and the simple truths of his conservatism spoke to the honest individualism of the American people. He paved the way for Ronald Reagan. That's what Newt could do.

But who would be our Ronald Reagan, or in current political vernacular, the Republican Barack Obama? Well, I don't expect him to appear on the Presidential scene by 2008. In fact, all things being equal, I expect no Republican will be elected President in 2008. But by 2010, I expect our Barack Obama -- one who actually has a compelling story *and* qualifications -- to rise onto the national scene from the Governor's Mansion in Louisiana, where Bobby Jindal will be in his second term.

Yes, we just might have to wait that long because right now they all suck.

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Ben's my first choice, anyways. Condi is 2nd and Newt is 3rd.

Internet member since 1987
Member of the Surreality-Based Community

How funny would his speeches be given ala Ferris Bueller teacher?

Seriously, though, I don't care if someone has viability to actually win, we just need someone to start having the sorts of public conversations we need to start having to define the issues. I find it disheartening that no one currently in office is getting those conversations out there. I would welcome Newt.

And will someone please tell me what happened to Rick Santorum? I saw him before the election, and really liked him, but have seen hide nor hair since.

Once you acquire qualifications you are no longer our Obama. Anyway, you can't compare Obama to Reagan - if you look just through the media lens, Obama is just like Jesus, only moreso. Jesus didn't have the guts to admit taking cocaine, after all.

How come only Rudy is the adulterer as opposed to Newt or McCain?

We have a two-front war to fight - a real war, and a political battle to keep it going. We need a fighter. That's why I'm behind Rudy.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

I've been an admitted Romney guy, but Rudy is looking much more attractive to me these days.

I just feel Romney fading already although he was my early preference. Although Rudy has his personal baggage, the stakes are just too high to not get someone who gets it on the war.

Rudy gets it when it comes to what this country's faces and he IS America's mayor. We have to have someone with the moral authority lead 60% of this country in the war and neutralize the left. Bush has lost is ability to do that and I'm not even sure Rudy can pull it off but he has the best shot in the lot. As long as 60% of the country remains bliss to or in denial of the threats we face we're doomed to a fate far worse than 9/11.

We really need someone who can flat out rally 55 - 60% of this country when the time comes again, and although Rudy can't rally me in my personal life he can certainly rally me in the defense of this country for all the right reasons.

Well put! 5+

Let's get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

Crank, I'm pulling for Rudy too. I'm aware of many people's hang-ups with the man. But the fact remains he's a winner with strong executive experience who, if he can get a Newt or perhaps John Cornyn or (in my dream world) Jim DeMint to be his VP, would galvanize the base and win over many Reagan Democrats who sat out in 2006.

I simply believe that the 2008 election is too crucial to our country's future to leave it in the hands of Hillary or Barack.

I don't think Romney is a serious candidate (his melt-down against Kennedy in 1994 was enough for me, I don't care how many times he re-invents himself). And I believe a Brownback candidacy would go as well as Dole's in 1996.

Frankly, the prospect of a President Clinton or Obama scares me to death. That's why I'm supporting Rudy.

"I just disproved my own argument. Where's my degree from Paul Maguire University??" -- Bill Simmons

The American people have never knowingly elected an appeaser during war. Carter hid his views as Ford weirded out on Poland and the cold war was over when Perot elected Clinton. Nixon won in a landslide at the heighth of Vietnam. Bush won big in '04 despite 24/7 bushlied and all out MSM assault. 06 was year six grievance election and not relateable to a presidential election.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @
The Charlotte Observer
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

while I'd vote for some of them with less than complete enthusiasm, and while none of them compare with Bush or Reagan (though with time and opportunity they might), I don't think any of them suck (with the possible exception of Tancredo, at least as a Presidential aspirant). They are all more serious, credible candidates than anyone the Democrats have to offer. With the American public's now proven lack of attention or of desire for truth or substance, it is far from certain one of them can win, that is true.

I realize this may be somewhat tongue-in-cheek (surely you don't seriously hope for an empty suit like Obama?), but nonetheless, I disagree.

I would say that each of the candidates has their strengths. In fact, if I could pick each candidate's strong suit and roll them into one body, we'd have the best presidential candidate ever. Get the human cloning people on THAT. :-)

That said,

1. Mike Pence would be unquestionably terrific if he ran.
2. Ken Blackwell would be awesome, too.
3. Newt would be wonderful, but I see your point about being worried that he might be one of the prospects most susceptible to being corrupted by such power.
4. Then again, maybe Romney is the real deal.
5. No...Brownback truly does suck. As a Big Government Republican, he's one of the worst.

whether you like his policies or not, the man barely got 40% in Ohio and thus absolutely could not win the general. the national doesn't get you there, I think you're wrong in your assessment here.

Madhouse Thought and The Minority Report

matter, but we are talking about Ohio and 40%. Had it even been close, I would agree with you, but not in that blowout.

Is a red state he pulled 40% in. I don't see him faring any better in any of the blue states and below 50% in many of the close red states.

He didn't win his last election, so he will never win another?

Like this guy?

The Academy: researching the Illiberal Arts

Look, I really do like Ken Blackwell. I think he's a good guy, one of the best the Ohio GOP has to offer, and I think he's right about everything he says. But he has *major* problems, not least of which are ties to mega-churches and ties to a disaster of a state party (Ohio). Frankly, he's not a great politician--and even in good years for Ohio Republicans, he's run significantly behind them.

As I said, I like the guy, would have voted for him if I could have (too young) over the empty suit we just elected. But I agree with DeathOfTheDonkey that he doesn't have a chance until he proves otherwise, and I have NO idea how he does that.

The Petro camp will now line up the 2010 candidate for governor, probably Petro himself, eliminating Blackwell for another shot. Even Petro would have been defeated soundly in this cycle, but his camp can plausibly argue they would have done better than 40% which is why much of the party will return to that camp.

Blackwell could run for another one of the state wide offices again, but that's not a move up from where he's been for the past 12 years. Browne however may be very vulnerable in 6 years based on his extreme liberalism and his being elected in a "protest" cycle for Ohio. If Blackwell delivered and knocked him off, that would do the trick.

But again, six years is a long ways away and Browne is a political animal. I know, I'm originally from Mansfield where he was elected the youngest state rep in state history at the time (1976) after being dismissed as not legitimate. A friend of my family's mother ran his opponents campaign. It's a sore subject and I want him out in six! On the other hand, he did have to flee to the liberal bastion of Elyria/Lorain just to hold office somewhere after leaving the Sec of State's office in disgrace.

But I digress. Blackwell can only recover by slaying a big time Dem in Ohio. He won't get another shot at Strickland, which leaves only Browne. None of the lost House seats are in his Cincy area, so that eliminates them.

You should apologize for referring to Tom Tancredo as the "guy who hates brown people". That shows you to be the racist, and also shows your ignorance.

Are you the guy that loves lawbreakers? have to take that in context and in the sprit it was written...Tongue-in-cheek like the rest of the descriptions!

Madhouse Thought and The Minority Report

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

I also agree that Newt running would elevate the debate and pull the candidates to the right (where they should be)

Madhouse Thought and The Minority Report

adulterous deal in his past. Wasn't he "dating" someone much younger while he wife was in the hospital or something? The media kept it pretty quiet, and Clinton was sucking the air out of that story for everyone else at the time.

You know it's in there, Erick. Don't be afraid of it. Embrace it! Learn to use the power of the dark side. Become Newt's apprentice!

Develop alternatives to existing policies and keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable. Milton Friedman

President Ron Paul...

He may be a long shot, but he's someone we can all get excited about.

From his wikipedia article:

'He has been criticized at times for his voting record, being the only dissenting vote against giving Pope John Paul II, Rosa Parks and Mother Teresa the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. According to Texas Monthly, “When he was criticized for voting against the medal [for Parks], he chided his colleagues by challenging them to personally contribute $100 to mint the medal. No one did, of course. At the time, Paul observed, ‘It's easier to be generous with other people's money.’” '

I'm thinking excited is an understatement.

I would have been excited about Jim Traficant as president...

Yes, in Ron Paul we have someone who is great on almost everything except:

1. The Most Important Issue of Our Time - the Global War On Terror v. Islamofascism (which Milton Friedman identified as the greatest threat to our economy,) and

2. Free Trade - One of The Most Important Componants of Our Future Economic Prosperity

And then there's his crazy notion of returning the dollar to the gold standard and wanting to do away with the Federal Reserve Bank. He is also against being able to use our Social Security taxes to fund private accounts. Sometimes, I think he's only a libertarian when it is convenient for him to be.

You're kidding when you're asking if I'm kidding about free trade, right?

I'm all for free trade. Ron Paul is the one who votes against all the free trade bills.

against just about EVERYTHING...
If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

Senior Writer

But there are some things that he should vote for, like free trade, that he does not. His anti-free market position on private accounts for social security is vexing as well, for a libertarian.

If you do a google search on "Free Trade" and "Ron Paul" you'll quickly find he is one of the best free trader in congress, he voted against NAFTA and CAFTA on the grounds that they were too restrictive and beaurocratic, or simply they're weren't free.

I actually don't think he was in Congress when NAFTA was passed (I think he wasn't re-elected to Congress until 1994 or 1996), although I'm sure he's on record as being against it.

He claims to have voted against CAFTA because he takes the incredibly insane, legally untenable position that free trade agreements are an unconstitutional delegation of congressional trade authority. read that correctly. Free trade agreements are actually unconstitutional in his mind. That's our Ron Paul. LOL.

I'd love to see where he got THAT legal opinion so, if he did become president we could defeat that idiot should he/she be nominated to the Supreme Court.

NAFTA and CAFTA are free trade. Completely free? Perhaps not. But Ron Paul did not make the argument that he was voting against CAFTA because it wasn't "free" enough. And increasing the level of free trade is ALWAYS a good thing, so voting against it because you don't get the whole enchilada would be stupid, and in this case disingenuous.

here is his exact words from a weekly column he writes. In part he does say that yes CAFTA does strip powers away from congress given in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3. Additionally he says that We don’t need government agreements to have free trade. We merely need to lower or eliminate taxes on the American people, without regard to what other nations do. Remember, tariffs are simply taxes on consumers.

He is very much in favor of free trade.

he'd make Bush look REALLY good.
If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

Senior Writer

there would be a lot of Republicans describing them in unflattering terms.

I'm thinking of Reagan's position on immigration.

Personally, I think we have at least two candidates who are great on the issues (Brownback, Hunter) and two who are great candidates, but not so great on all of my issues (Rudy, McCain). But I'm realistic - when you have rock stars heading the field, you gotta live with the fact that you won't always agree with them.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

You are deeply confused about what you think to be Reagans position on immigration. Ed Meese, Reagans close friend and a member of his inner circle for forty years, has spoken on what Reagans position was. "Ronald Reagan - libertarian" is a figment of the modern GOP's imagination. The man was a law-and-order Republican of the old school who would have had little time for the modern "its like a traffic ticket" mentality which is the current parties response to all law breaking. But thats a subject for a different thread.

The point is that both Reagan and Goldwater had things in their record which purists could point to as reasosn to reject them. As Governor of California Reagan signed the largest tax increase in CA history up to that time, as well as an abortion law which went on to be the model for Roe. Nobody with that record could get the nomination today. I see people objecting to this or that Governor because he signed off on a hike in the fishing license.

The sad and funny thing is that it is the lower-taxes and smaller government types who will get crushed by the very immigration policies they are demanding. Stupidity is a self-terminating condition.

Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

I guessing there is a point hiding there somewhere, or trying to.

The fact that Reagan signed an amnesty bill, in order to get secure borders, when the opposition party had Congress, is proof of Reagans open-borders stance in the same way that his signing of the largest tax increase in California history is proof of his tax and spend stance, or his signing of a liberal abortion law is proof of his pro-choice stance.

What part of this are you not getting?

Better be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident security. --Edmund Burke

My Blog: The Movement You Need

in some regards. In launching his successful campaign for the White House, the soon-to-be president famously called for the free movement of labor within North America. I'm pretty sure this would qualify him in Lou Dobbs's eyes as an advocate of, er, "open borders".

Reagan was too conservative, too old, too dangerous, too divorced. Goldwater was, well, Goldwater. People forget.

When Reagan ran in 1980 there were Republicans that described him in unflattering terms. Does anyone else recall the origins of the slander “Voodoo Economics?”
The unfortunate truth about political parties is that intra-party power struggles do sometimes leak out into the general electorate. The only way that I can conceive of minimizing the damage done by internal party or movement disputes is to try to keep such disagreements civil.  Polite disagreements within a party or movement are much less likely to provide ammunition for rival parties and movements when they become known to the general public.

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

Back in 1980, the debt was about 914 billion dollars.

Now it is some 8,600 billion.

Looks like Reagan's critics were right.

Clue in: it's not the taxes, it's the spending. If the government could just quit spending so much money, there would be no debt.

The Academy: researching the Illiberal Arts

Ok by bmbike

so cut spending. Only we just had 6 years of Republican control I don't recall seeing any real spending cuts. The problem is that the tax cuts happen before the spending cuts. It should be the other way around. Cut spending and after successfully doing that, cut taxes. Of course, that makes too much sense.

The government isn't in the business of making money, plus revenue to the federal treasury is at an all time high. Truth be told, without the tax cuts, no five year economic expansion and with no five year economic expansion no record federal revenues.

Without the tax cuts, the deficit would be even higher as slightly less spending would be out paced by larger declines in federal tax revenue.

It's call a price point in marketing.

isn't making money son. That borrowin' and spendin'

As for your so called five year plan... you can't compare what coulda happened with what did. Econ doesn't work like that...sadly.

However, I point out the expansion in the 90's exceeds the current "boom"

wiping out several trillion dollars in market capitalization, starting in April 2000. Poof, just erased it, like it never existed.

And what did we get for that investment?

Well, the collapse of the Soviet Union for one. That seems like a pretty good return to me.

We got an economy that has grown for all but 10 (or so) of the last 107 quarters with teeny-tiny unemployment, resulting in a near constant 60-65 percent debt-to-GDP ratio, about the middle of the western world. That's a pretty good return too.

We also got a bunch of new roads, and highways, bridges, and neat stuff like that. Those are pretty useful - look it up.

Sure, we got a fair amount of stupid stuff in there too. Funny you seem to think that's a partisan phenom, though.

Funny, indeed.

So libs, how's that Congressional Resolution to end The War™ coming along?

    Back in 1980, the debt was about 914 billion dollars.

    Now it is some 8,600 billion.

Back in 1980, the GDP was $2.8 trillion. Now it's $13.5.

  1. People here are not stupid.
  2. Lying with statistics is a frowned-upon endeavor.
  3. Hit-and-run smart aleks who lie get bounced.

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

How about Tom Coburn? I know he's made a lot of enemies within the party, but he seems to get it when it comes to fiscal responsibility. And as an added bonus, he's a social conservative.

Believe it or not, this month, GQ wrote an incredibly flattering piece that's worth checking out:

I think Coburn is one of the few that could spark a genuine grassroots revolt, a la 1994.

Tom Coburn would be an awesome president.

If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

Senior Writer

Look, Coburn's in the "not gonna run so why bother" pile, and there are other reasons to doubt him, but if anybody has a claim to shaking up the Senate from within it's Tom Coburn.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

I think you take the 'Senators never win' thing way too seriously. What evidence is there that being a Senator is itself a hindrance, versus just there being bad candidates running?

Could Kerry the medal thrower have won had he been Governor like his former running-mate Dukakis? Was Dole held back by a long voting record, or just by being devoid of philosophy and ideas, and weighted by a party riddled with CDS? Was Goldwater's current position his undoing, or was his unapologetic conservatism just ahead of his time?

Our field is too patheticaly bad to worry about false historical trends.

Run like Reagan!

the concept of "vision for the Nation" and US Senator seem pretty well mutually exclusive. You are absolutely right about Dole, and the same lesson certainly applies in spades to the potential candidates who are serving Senators.

I also am making a snap judgment about Coburn that I would happily retract should he decide to run and should he then actually show that he has a vision for where the Nation should be heading.

This has little to do with "historical trends", it has to do with the viral infection that seems to attack people when they are sworn in as Senators. They care more for the history of Senate and comity among it's members than they do about the fate of the country.

I don't find any announced candidate or potential candidate with a committee from either party, who's currently in the Senate to any more qualified to be POTUS than a recently released felon who just needs a job so he can make his parole conditions. I'm not, BTW, accusing any of them of felonies, just being totally devoid of ideas, leadership on important matters and a vision of what the Nation should be.

Again, I would be willing to give Coburn the benefit of the doubt and a fair hearing.
If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

Senior Writer

I do not have to agree with his stand on social issues however I do have to agree with someone who has not changed his position on the War on Terror or as I like to call it the War on Islamic Fascism and he is that guy. If Bill Clinton can get a pass for his crap while in the White House I certainly am not going to judge Rudy on his while a Mayor. I dare anyone on the left to bring it up and I am quite sure Hilary does not want it front and center either. We can argue gay marriage, abortion and other social ills when we are safe from the insanity that is the new war of the 21st century because if we don't win it the other stuff won't matter anyway.

Peace through superior fire power:)

I'd rather have a just out of the closet and married in Mass. president who's third wife prior to coming out had a dozen abortions, but who was tough on Islamic Fascists/Terrorism, than a social conservative recently thawed out of a 1950's cryogenic capsule, but that was willing to compromise on terror.

what is his position on the War on Islamic Fascism? And how is it different from or better than anyone elses?

to lead a nation, particularly during a time of war. That's the difference, not the position in itself on the war which millions share, but the moral authority to lead 60% of this nation in that battle. Rudy has it as America's mayor with proven results on the ground, while the others have merely words to their credit. The political reality is that means a lot to a lot of people.

Hell, he had to be talked into running for the Senate in 2004 ...

The really tragedy is that Mark Sanford isn't running. In late 2005 I had the opportunity to ask Senator Coburn who he thought was the right guy for 2008 and he told me Mark Sanford. He could have been a really great candidate for us.

Agreed that he probably won't run, but he was talked into running for Senate, so why not President? An appeal to his sense of duty and country may be effective. Probably just wishful thinking...

Hey, speak for yourself. I'm excited as hell about McCain. I got excited about him back in 2000 and that hasn't changed since. And Romeny and Guliani are both candidates I'd be happy to vote for - I'd be excited about Newt but there's not point as he really can't win.
I would not vote for Brownback because he's way wrong on the issues for me and Tancredo can jump off a cliff as far as I am concerned, but some of the other second tier candidates work for me as well. I think we have a good field - I think the Dems have a good field as well. I think it's going to be a good election.

couple of years.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Although I’m not as warm on Giuliani largely because he’s an unknown on most of the important domestic issues and I’m wondering if he might be a one-trick pony by simply being Mayor of NYC on 9/11. I’m open to persuasion and don’t have any reason not to support him if he’s the nominee but I haven’t seen anything that excites me.

Let's get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

So by buckeye

His economic and crime rate turn around for NYC was a one trick pony too? I think you need to look at NYC before Rudy took office and what he made of it up until the day before 9/11.

As far as Giuliani’s “economic record,” someone who supported Mario Cuomo for governor in the hopes of having the State bail out NYC and Al D’Amato for Senate because of his ability to bring home the pork isn’t exactly endearing himself to fiscal conservatives.

Let's get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

is the same concept as national security at the federal level. Take a look at who's soft on crime and whos' tough on crime. There is a one-to-one correlation with tough on national security.
If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

Senior Writer

Popular former Governor and RNC Chair, pretty damn conservative ... don't see anyone talking about him?

Former Va. Gov. Gilmore sets up exploratory presidential campaign

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore has set up an exploratory presidential campaign for 2008. Gilmore's aide, Matt Williams, says the Republican filed papers today with the Federal Election Commission in Washington to form the Jim Gilmore for President Exploratory Committee. Williams said Gilmore was in a meeting and not immediately available for comment.

Gilmore, who's 57, said in interviews last month that he didn't see a true conservative running for president, and said he would assess his own chances for a presidential run. Gilmore was elected governor in 1997 by promising to cut Virginia's property tax that local governments levy on personal cars and pickup trucks.

Problem is he's got a long road ahead of him to reach the right level of name recognition that would put him in contention.

Madhouse Thought and The Minority Report

I just don't know if he has the star power to run for president. I think that Dick Armey stands a better chance than Jim Gilmore.

I don't want an Obama, I want a Churchill. Fortunately, in our time and circumstances, Gingrich has the intelligence, vision and cultural values to play that role. He will be slimed, of course, but so will any Republican candidate that we nominate. As Jonathan Winters (among others), used to say, we must care enough to send the very best.

I doubt he'd do well with the base or in Iowa & NH.

Although if the field were narrowed down to Ward and McCain, he'd have a good shot.
If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

Senior Writer

In their own ways, right now, it's true: they all do "suck" in the vernacular of the street. But all of them have positive qualities as well, some more than others. One sure thing is that we sit around in a circular firing squad sniping at each of our prospective candidates' worst vulnerabilities before they even have a chance to establish themselves, we're going to degenerate into a group of little Balkanized camps, we're all going to suffer badly in the end as a result of that. I have some thoughts on this race and the current crop of candidates (including Gingrich) that I'm developing in parallel with another piece of Romney, guns, and the NRA.

I'll just say right now that there are people here at RedState who are better and more seasoned national, presidential-race political strategists than I am. I recognize that. As a corollary I also recognize that sometimes the posts here are meant to shift the debate in a direction that a political strategist or operative had decided would be beneficial, based on some putative game plan of how things "should work". But I have neither the background nor the inclination to think that way. Instead, I am going to Think Differently and try to give people my straight-up opinions on each of these people as I learn more about them.

Out of the field that exists right now, I'm a Romney supporter. He's far from perfect, but he's better than anyone I've seen so far on the things I care about.

Though. The first candidate among our field that earns the endorsement of the NRA is going to have a huge advantage in my book. It's too early to tell who that will be, but it's going to be pivotal.

He hasn't officially thrown his hat into the ring, but Huckabee is my choice, since he is aligned to social conservatism.

Huckabee's pros:
-- Very solidly pro-life (unlike Romney)
-- Very pro-marriage
-- Has executive experience (Time ranked him as one of the 5 best Governers).
-- Charismatic speaker
-- Huge appeal to moderates and conservative Dems (he has an interesting obesity life story)
-- Not burdened by the Iraq issue

"Cons" (to conservatives):
-- Sort of big government (like Bush)
-- Softer on immigration (like Bush)

If Huckabee does run, watch for a strong showing by him in Iowa.

Have you listened to interviews with the guy? Take away the social conservatism and the man is basically a nanny-state New Democrat. He lists physical fitness as one of his top three priorities, and the other two are national service and a balanced budget (note that he references the Clintonian mantra about underfunded state governments and doesn't frame it in terms of reduced spending).

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

I'm not going to vote for anyone who Time thinks is a good governor. Weren't they all excited that Bob Taft discovered the art of raising taxes in Ohio, or something?

Club for Growth will torpedo Huckabee and/or Hunter if necessary.

Hello more Big Government Republicans!

Huckabee can run for the senate. I at least won't actively oppose him if he is running against Mark Pryor. At least there he can vote to confirm good judges, and a conservative president can veto any of the big spending bills he helps send up.

In the traditional hair-quality order:

  • Diana Irey
  • Ken Blackwell
  • The aforementioned Newt
  • Michael Steele
  • The Donald, if only to see the headline "Ya fiyudt" when he drops out.
  • O'course, that's only if a certain someone fails to hear the call.

    The Academy: researching the Illiberal Arts

    Kind of a bold prediction about Bobby Jindal being the next Republican president. We're due for a non-white guy for president although won't the African-American liberal cabal just be P.O.ed to the nth degree that that title won't go to a black?

    Newt so far is my guy. Perhaps it's because he has the advantage of having wonderful ideas (e.g. $1B prize for a feasible/affordable car that gets 200 mph) combined with the luxury of not having to make votes in the Congress. Newt also is a hawk on Iraq, which is key.

    I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

    to be Obama, woman enough to be Hillary and smart enough to run the Country.

    Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

    ...would also cause a certain electricity. Look at all of the "two African-Americans coaching the Super Bowl" talk. I think the nation -- justified or no -- has been looking for an outlet for our collective guilt over the accululated failure of African-Americans to escape the rut that they, as a group, seem stuck in.

    To make a statement about all of that via an individual who has impeccable credentials would be exciting -- for me anyway.

    If we assume that Obama's lack of qualifications catch up to him, then we can assume it might be Hillary seh'd be running against. Condi against Hillary sets up nicely for the GOP -- on many, many levels.

    We would also like to know your advice for somebody like my daughter, who's going to graduate in two years, advice that you would give a young person.

    SEC. RUMSFELD: Advice for a young person. Study history.

    No one else even comes close.

    Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

    We would also like to know your advice for somebody like my daughter, who's going to graduate in two years, advice that you would give a young person.

    SEC. RUMSFELD: Advice for a young person. Study history.

    but since I incline towards the optimistic brand of Republicanism, I prefer to view him as a man so enthusiastic about heterosexual marriage that he tried it three times.

    While it's sad that it took him three times to get it right, it really is none of my business.

    I would rather wake up safe in my bed every morning than worry about who is in his.

    5 by Erick


    You can decide whether that's good or bad.

    Go Dawgs, Sic em' Woof Woof

    I think Gilmore is a solid conservative, has ties at former RN chairman and has executive experience. Watts on the other had is a great spokesperson and the minority thing would dig at the Dems.
    I think sometimes we all look to find 100% agreement in all issues, while I don't always agree with him....McCain looks wonderful compared to Hillary.

    what Tommy Thompson is doing. I think a Thompson/Huchabee ticket would be pretty strong.

    It's going to be either Romney or Giuliani, very unlikely McCain.

    McCain will almost certainly continue his slide in the polls, especially when Republicans have visions of old Bob Dole (it was his turn, by the way!). McCain has political experience but not enough passionate supporters to adequately get out the vote.

    Giuliani and Romney are both are outside-the-beltway non-Senators, very exciting speakers and will capture enough attention to keep others from breaching into the 'front-runner' group. So, who between Giuliani and Romney? I much prefer Romney and his cleaner, more conservative and overall compelling background. But it will be one of those folks. The VP choice never mattered, and won't in 2008 either.

    Obama's celebrity is a creation of the media.

    The media would never celebrate any Republican candidate as they have Senator Obama. I have never seen one celebrated in this manner in my lifetime.

    We've actually got several candidates who are much better than Obama. They have experience and qualifications. Senator Obama has his media-created celebrity status.

    Even Senator Clinton's experience and qualifications will outweigh Senator Obama's celebrity once the primaries really heat up.

    I don't want an unqualified media creation being trotted out as the Republican frontrunner. I like our group just fine.

    If a GOP rock star were possible, we wouldn't have been listening to Jim Webb last night.

    We would also like to know your advice for somebody like my daughter, who's going to graduate in two years, advice that you would give a young person.

    SEC. RUMSFELD: Advice for a young person. Study history.

    5 by buckeye

    In theory, the MSM could have made the same "breath of fresh air", good looking, and charismatic puff pieces about Romney but with all the proven experience. That is never going to happen.

    Yes, "suck" is crude. It's unnecessary, and it's beneath Redstate.

    I've seen Powerpoint presentations that were more inspiring than the roster of candidates. On either side.

    The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC.

    with John Steele - the current crop of candidates are less exciting that a film strip production.
    If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

    Senior Writer

    Where's Jed? If this isn't a call to launch R-B '08, OI don't know what is.

    "I'm kind of old-fashioned. I like to engage my brain before my mouth." Donald Rumsfeld

    Or are you so distraught you're willing to support a draft movement for one of the Clampetts?
    If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

    Senior Writer

    No, I meant Jed. As in Babbin.

    "I'm kind of old-fashioned. I like to engage my brain before my mouth." Donald Rumsfeld

    personal correspondence with him when our son Josh was an active duty Marine. He is personally, a wonderful guy. At one point, he asked me for a list of Josh's buddies and sent each of them an autographed copy of one of his books with a personal note in each. I love the guy.
    If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

    Senior Writer

    Folks, I have a picture of the Gipper on my bar. I cried like a baby during his funeral.

    But he hasn't won an election in over 22 years!

    These are new times with new challenges. We need to quit analyzing every candidate we've got by comparing them to Ronald Reagan, a product of 1950s Hollywood and a Cold War that we won 18 years ago.

    I'm not thrilled about our current lineup either, but that doesn't mean they suck. Guiliani nearly died on 9/11 (after bringing his city back from the brink and making it a place that people wanted to live in again). McCain? I know many people hate him (something I'm not sure I quite understand), but he is definitely someone I would point out to my child and say, "That man is a great American and someone you can emulate." Newt? Wicked smart. Down the road, maybe Condi will get some elected experience and be not our Reagan, but our Margaret Thatcher.

    I have my own doubts about whether any Republican can win in 2008, but we need to get out of this funk. Obama has zero experience. Hillary is loathed by about 45 percent of the electorate. Put up a sober, experienced Republican, and we have a shot in these dangerous times. If you see a twinkle of Reagan in his eye, that's fine, but choosing someone because they are "most like Reagan" seems dumb to me at this point. Reagan was a man for his time. We need to find a man (or woman) for ours.

    With you on McCain - have never understood all of the animus toward him. Disagreement, yes, but...

    I think many in the GOP (particularly activists) can't stand the fact that he shows up at inconvenient times to led support to things Democrats support giving it the illusion of "bipartisan support." Others, I think, hate anyone sainted by the media. Others can't stand that he doesn't always (at least until recently) speak in glowing terms about Jerry Falwell, Inc.

    I understand these sentiments, but I don't share them.

    I'm supporting someone else for now. But should McCain become my party's nominee, of course I'll support him. One of the posters upstream said that they find Hillary less objectionable.

    I find this sentiment to be remarkable! I'm not judging it, just observing it with bemusement.

    He’s right on entitlement reform, he’s right on the War, he’s right on judicial nominees, and he’s right on spending. On at least three of these he’s been “righter” than most Republicans including the President.

    Add to that the fact that by being one of the preeminent advocates of “clean government” (yes, I hate McCain-Feingold but it’s a done deal and it didn’t stop any of us from voting for Bush in 2004), he’s pretty much immune to the “culture of corruption” garbage.

    Let's get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

    So libs, how's that Congressional Resolution to end The War™ coming along?

    That's right! I forgot about that. But I'll bet many others forgot about that, as well, because McCain has somehow immunized himself from the charge that he's hopelessly corrupt.

    I could be wrong, but I think that charges of corruption against McCain just won't stick. He's immunized himself from it somehow.

    People have short memories, plus he "redeemed" himself in many minds by championing campaign finance reform. I don't agree with them, but there are more of them than me and they believe he's paid his penance.

    Well stated above. 2008 can be our transformation election into our next great Republican leader, whoever that is for these times. Obama and Hillary are both very vulnerable which is why I'm still somewhat optimistic about 2008. I agree with Morris's theory that Obama will suck all the oxygen out of the room, leaving only he and Hillary. By the time Obama looses his Rock Star status it will be too late for any other Dem to pick up the financial and organizational traction needed.

    If we get the right candidate to break from the pack early in 2008, I think we can get on a roll and begin the transformation. It can even be early enough to pick up the coattails needed to take Congress back.

    The MSM will be sure to refresh it. Daily.

    So libs, how's that Congressional Resolution to end The War™ coming along?

    Anymore than Whitewater will matter should Senator Clinton be the Democrats nominee. If anything McCain will be able to (truthfully) use it show that he made a mistake, learned his lesson, and has not only reformed his ways but has tried to reform the system in the process.

    Let's get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

    I suspect that MSM will run a plethora of articles, stories, and investigations about the Keating 5 if McCain becomes the front-runner.

    ...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

    ---Thomas Paine---

    is that he's a Cratocrat. He thinks in terms of how things affect his image, and the Senate's image, and the Government, not how they affect the Nation, or the People.

    He is a shallow caricature, a dried husk of what he could have been.

    The Academy: researching the Illiberal Arts

    It’s always amusing to see people suffering from CDS, BDS, LDS, or MDS insist that they know what’s “really” driving the object of their obsession. Naturally it has to be ego or malice because, you know, people don’t actually run for office and take positions because they think it might actually be the right thing to do or actually believe in what they’re saying.

    By all means keep repeating ad nausea how you think you have some special insight into what John McCain’s nefarious motivations really are for the positions he’s taken. Try to coin your own words or do something really clever and try to come up with some derogatory variation on the name “John McCain” if it makes you feel special.

    It won’t persuade anyone who hasn’t already decided that they have to hate Senator McCain just like it didn’t persuade those who didn’t already hate President Clinton or President Bush or Senator Lieberman but it will make it easier for him to distance himself from the crazies in the party.

    Let's get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

    I'm no McCain fan and he's my last choice among the 3 most likely Republican candidates. But you're absolutely right about him being on the right side of the most critical issues.

    He's been nothing short of a rock in the War on Terror -- even going so far as to lend some of the capital he has with the media and the left as cover to the Bush Administration. Part of that is their fault for investing so much in him (for no other reason than he was the anti-Bush in 2000). But he could just as easily run and hide like everybody else has been doing. And he's done just the opposite. Good for him.

    He's also right on judges, spending, and entitlement reform. That's 4 biggies right there....and the reason that I wouldn't have too much heartburn voting for him if he does get the nomination.

    He's not my preference -- but I'm glad you pointed this out. People tend to think that McCain's been on the other side of everything...and that's not true.

    Don't be fooled: the only side McCain is on is McCain's side. If he appears to be on your side, it's because of statistical effects, nothing more.

    The Academy: researching the Illiberal Arts

    The War, entitlement reform, spending, and judicial nominees. On at least three of these he has been superior to most Republicans in Congress and the President. Those four, along with health care reform, are going to probably be the most important issues facing the next presidential administration.

    Let's get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

    On the war, he would mouth support for war and in the same paragraph blast the Administration so he can bolster his creds with the media.

    On entitlement reform and spending, all he did was issue statements. He put a whole lot more effort into trying to nullify the first amendment, pass legislation that implies our military tortures people and give constitutional rights to terrorists than he did on either containing spending or entitlements.

    On judges, he voted for nominees. And then there's the G14 that cost us at least seven qualified appellate justices and bought us exactly nothing. Neither Alito or Roberts could have been successfully filibustered and if they were, especially after Alito's testimony, the nuclear option would have passed in a heartbeat.

    McCain is a preening old man with no vision for America other than him sitting in the Oval Office.
    If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

    Senior Writer

    Right on judges... Don't bet on it. Sure he's voted for all of both Bush's nominees. He also led the G14 that has so far cost us at least seven qualified appellate nominees and will certainly cost us a conservative SCOTUS nominee if W gets another crack at a that. It gained us absolutely nothing, it gained McCain great favor with the media and his friends (Kerry and Kennedy).

    On the other issues you mention, spending and entitlement reform, where's he been for the last six years? Why didn't he bother to use any of his great "leadership" to push for legislation in ANY of those areas. All he's done is issue statements. Hell, I do that.

    Please point to ONE piece of legislation that John McCain has authored that benefits the country. Just one.

    John McCain would sell his mother to be President.
    If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

    Senior Writer

    While I suspect that you, like me, favored the use of the "nuclear option" to push the judges through (the Democrats' practice of filibustering judicial nominees was deplorable and set a new low for the Senate), I come away thinking that the G14 thing was a win-win. Yes, a handful of appellate nominees were sacrificed for it.

    But look at it this way, there's a very distinct possibility that the next president AND the next Senate will both be in Democratic hands. If that comes to pass, don't you think you'll be happy to know that the current precedent -- filibusters are OK, nuclear option isn't -- will be in place?

    In hindsight, I think the G14 was a disaster for the left and a boon for us. And if you ask your typical left-wing nut, they'll probably tell you the same thing. Their entire intent with that was to assert some influence over the SCOTUS nominees. And they tried, and failed, both times to influence that. And they were apoplectic that only 20 or so Senators mounted any kind of opposition to, in particular, Justice Alito.

    I think McCain's been just fine on judges. And I also think he's been an incredibly valuable asset on the war on terror. Do you realize how easy it would be for him to jump ship and join the chorus of the Warners and Hagels?

    And I really appreciate him going on out on the limb with GWB on SS reform with the savings accounts. Very few people were willing to do that, fearing the wrath of the Geritol Brigades.

    I'm not saying I support him -- I'm only saying that I won't have too much problem voting for him if he wins the nomination.

    The D's won't nuke us, you're wrong. If Queen Hillary! nominates the king of the 9th Circus and the Rs even speak of a filibuster, the Ds will simply change the rules to require up or down votes on nominees, with the obvious justification that a nominee can't be modified and compromised, as legislation can. They will be right and the media will sing their praises as they explain that to the American people. G14 was a loser for us.

    I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful 100 percent.

    no nuclear option, a D POTUS and a D Senate. Elections have consequences and that goes both ways. The senile old [redacted] in the Senate should NEVER have the ability to deny a President a floor vote a nominee for any appointed position, judicial, cabinet or other.

    McCain is worse than Warner and Hagel. In addition to his simpering on the war and his sell out to his friends with G14, he actually has authored a couple of pieces of legislation. None that actually help the country of course.

    McCain is a pathetic old fool. He didn't go out on any limbs for GWB on on SS. Point me to a proposal he drafted (unlike the one he drafted to give terrorists constitutional rights). Point me to a group of Senators he put together to support any legislation on spending or SS. This is just ridiculous.
    If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

    Senior Writer

    When Clinton was in the White House, the New York Times campaigned long and hard for the elimination of the filibuster, not just on nominations, but on legislation as well. As soon as a Republican President came along with a Republican Senate, all of a sudden, the New York Times took the position that the filibuster is essential to the survival of the Republic itself.

    Do you honestly think that they would not flip-flop back to their orginal anti-filibuster position if a Democratic President was having a tough time getting his EXTREMELY liberal nominees through a Democratic Senate due to Republicans blocking up/down votes on the nomination? They would do it and they would do it without any shame.

    So please do not be under the misconception that this G14 deal would survive the first attempt to filibuster a Democratic judicial nominee by a Democratic President in a Democratic Senate by Republicans. They would switch the rules in a heartbeat, get their friends in the Press to report that the GOP was violating the Constitution and carry on as if Harry Reid never made an appeal to the American people on national television to save the filibuster.

    And should the Republicans later on take control of the Senate with a Republican in the White House, the Democrats and their friends in the Press would simply do a swift about-face and start bloviating about the absolute necessity of the filibuster in keeping the United States from vanishing off the face of the Earth.

    The G14 deal was all about McCain getting his fix of media praise and pats on the head for being such a good dog "Maverick". It's a shame he got DeWine to go along with him.

    He's also right on judges, spending, and entitlement reform...

    I think McCain is right on a few things, too, but judges aint' one of 'em.

    Now, maybe his conduct has been perfectly unobjectionable in the senate. But as president, don't you think there's a strong possibility that his innate bossiness and his shockingly disturbing views on the first amendment might result in some Really Bad Justices? My fear is McCain would use his own (wrong) position on the constitutionality of political speech restrictions as a litmus test.

    of the candidates at this point.

    There are some that I am "no way" on.
    There are some that sort of appeal, but I don't care for their baggage or some of their positions.

    I like Newt as a spokesman for conservatism-he has to be one of the most eloquant conservatives out there who can advocate and defend conservatism. I am just not sure he is right for the presidency-and I think he carries quite a bit of baggage for a general, but if Hillary is the nominee I think baggage will cancel out baggage. I pick up on a lot of the liberal leaning blogs that Newt is their perceived general election winner-not sure if that is hopefulness or good instincts. I am not even convinced Newt is going to run (although he has been in NH a lot the last 6 months or so, and I don't think he would be here that much if he wasn't toying with the idea).

    Another plus for Newt is that he isn't running from Congress and isn't part of the administration-he can actually run as a sort of outsider.

    I just don't get warm fuzzy feelings about Romney-not sure I can trust him to do anything other than make empty promises in order to get elected. Although I haven't ruled him out, he just doesn't excit me.

    There is a lot about Rudy that I like, but his position on abortion is something hard for me to get past, but I like his leadership style, his tenacity, and I also think he is one who will try to do what is right, whether it is popular or not.

    Basically I keep hoping that some candidate will swoop in and make me think "that's the person I want to vote for" but I don't think that person is going to be showing up.

    You go to war with the army you have, not the one you want.

    I'm trying to figure out which one of those announced or likely has the shortest list of negatives--or negatives that are easiest spun--without having any dealbreakers.

    So far, I've eliminated McCain because his stance on immigration and his past work for the Dems (CFR, Swiftboats and torture) make him less acceptable than Hillary.

    Romney is at about 50/50: he's got some great positives like the looks and the speaking that sells in the general but he has some huge negatives. The johnny-come-lately will hurt in the primary and the religion will be major in the general.

    Rudy could get it done if he would say his liberal stances are what he would like to persuade the party to if he can but he will not force them upon the party, i.e. let's win the war first and then talk about gay marriage and abortion.

    Newt: why should I go for him if he has refused to put his talk to the test before voters--anywhere, especially with the dearth of quality conservatives--in the years since he was run out of congress? That's not so bad but I don't know of any candidates he's stumped for that went on to win. I mean, Reagan made his name, in part, because he was willing to travel the country and help others who shared his view win. Newt seems to want all the glory for his ideas for himself and won't show they can win unless he's the one to win as well. Maybe I'm wrong and he has been out there helping push conservative candidates over the line. That I'd need to know if I'm going to see him as more than just ego-seeking.

    I always read Daily Kos to see what's going on in la la land, and apparently quite a number of them are pretty scared of Huckabee. They were saying things like, "He nailed it on John Stewart last night" and "He might be a wingnut, but he camouflages it well."

    Obama is a confirmed liberal with the charisma to cover it well. Huckabee would be "our" Obama, if that's what we're looking for.

    I'm kind of interested in someone else right now, but that's my report.

    "No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

    They only think Huckabee is frightening because he sounds the most like THEM. And they think that people support them on fiscal/economic policy.

    I disagree. And if we are going to have another big spender in the White House, I'd rather him not have an R after his name.

    But I think he's got several characteristics that might recommend him to the folks here:

    1. He is an unabashed social conservative -- no worries about flip-flopping with this guy.

    2. He's articulate.

    3. He's not saddled with the war in Iraq (in fact, to the extent that the War in Iraq is a losing issue in 2008, he has even fewer problems than Hillary does at this point).

    4. He's got a compelling personal story.

    5. He's a former governor who will likely be running against one of three senators / former senators.

    6. He seems like a nice guy that I could have a beer with...and he's not any of the other guys who have announced.

    Downsides that I've heard:

    1. Apparently another "big government conservative." Is this true? I saw that Cato gave him a low score, but he's in league with Arnold and Romney only got one grade above him. Frankly, I don't like the idea of another big spender in the White House either, but at least he purports to support a balanced budget.

    2. He's green. Doesn't bother me so much, but most here will probably be irked by this.

    3. Just another white Christian male from the South. I think his weight loss story and his apparent environmentalism make him "interesting" and less easy to marginalize as just another white dude running for office, but he's not an Obama or a Hillary that can expand the voting base and draw out people who previously haven't voted. But I don't think any of our crop of current Republicans do that, frankly. Maybe Mitt? (are there millions of Mormon voters out there who have stayed home but will come out to vote for one of their own? Doubt it).

    If we have to move a little to the left economically/environmentally for a few years as the price of keeping the White House, it's fine with me. He is not only solid on the social issues, he is the most articulate defender of them out there. (Brownback does not communicate to the squishy middle in the same way Huckabee does.)

    Honestly, I have no problem with most of these guys, save Guiliani and Tancredo--and occasionally McCain, but not as much as other people do.

    By the way, I've been listening to Duncan Hunter a lot. I like the guy. Solid conservative in every way, and he comes off as pretty honest. He's converted me from thinking he was the biggest joke in the world. I'd vote for him, and maybe even in the primary.

    Can we just not nominate Tancredo?


    Tancredo is a single-issue candidate. Admitedly, his issue is fairly important to me and one on which I'm further to the right than the other candidates who've announced.

    But there is no way he's got a prayer of getting the nomination. He's got even less of a chance at getting elected president in the current climate. Despite my acute frustration at the fact that our borders remain open sieves 6 years after 9/11, I'm going to have to just hope and pray that enough of the conservative Democrats that got elected this time around give the GOP enough cover when they oppose Bush/Pelosi on the coming amnesty so that the racism/anti-immigrant charge isn't as effectively leveled at Republicans as it is right now and we end up losing Arizona and New Mexico like Pete Wilson lost California.

    I think illegal immigration is the Republican version of the Democrats and Vietnam. The people desperately want someone to do something about it but they will never forgive them when they carry it out. The people wanted out of Vietnam, so the Democrats cut off funding. The Democratic Party has paid the price for that on national security ever since. I think illegal immigration is like this for Republicans. The people want something done about it and know the GOP is the party to do it but will never forgive us after its taken place. Maybe not, but I worry about alienating our party from Hispanics for the next 20 years.

    Maybe if we could pick up African Americans who are being hurt by illegal immigration and trade them for losing Hispanics? But tell me that Tancredo is the person to do that and my head will explode. Maybe no white Republican is capable of doing that.

    Regarding Hunter, I agree with you that he is a lot more impressive when you actually think about him. But I don't think most people will be able to get passed that crazy wig or bad dye job he's got and his association with Duke Cunningham. Just the way it is.

    Particularly because he is rock solid against the gay agenda and strong on other social issues. What you say about him not being a fiscal conservative worries me, though. I'd be willing to see the party go a little leftward on the environment -- my religious convictions have nudged me a little that way -- but on fiscal issues, enough is enough of Republicans being associated in any way with free spending!

    Damn the torpedoes!

    "I'm going to have to just hope and pray that enough of the conservative Democrats that got elected this time around give the GOP enough cover when they oppose Bush/Pelosi on the coming amnesty so that the racism/anti-immigrant charge isn't as effectively leveled at Republicans as it is right now and we end up losing Arizona and New Mexico like Pete Wilson lost California."

    You're joking, right?

    You know Pete Wilson was reelected, right? Even though everyone was saying he was going to lose?

    There is nowhere in this country that I can think of that a tough-on-immigration stance is unpopular. Except, apparently, Washington, D.C.

    No way. This booming economy is about the only thing left holding the country together. Yank taxes up to and you can kiss the five year expansion good-bye. Then how are you going to fund the entitlement state?

    Don't know much biology...

    Sorry, put me in the mood there.

    "No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

    I think Rudy can break through and broaden the base. He has strong appeal with the independents and is a Northeast Republican. Personally, I think the GOP will have the South in the bag again in 2008 with whoever they put against Hillary or Obama. So as much as I hate to say it but it's politics, a white male from the South is my least favorite candidate when it comes to broadening the base.

    On the balanced budget stuff, the balanced budget as an end in itself is getting a little old. I'll take reduced tax rates a five year expansion and deficits over high taxes, a choked economy but a balanced budget any day. North Korea has a balanced budget for all I know. While I think balance budgets are a sound means to a strong economy, I don't believe they as an end in themselves produce economic prosperity.

    Why not? Instant name recognition, and with the current non-excitement surrounding the candidates I could see him generating immediate buzz.

    If not - how about a former governor: Ohio's own Bob Taft! HAHA

    ...I know you're joking. I get that from the "haha" after the suggestion. But having lived through eight years of RINO Bob here in Ohio, let me explain to you in no uncertain terms that I would prefer Al Sharpton to Bob Taft--and I'm as conservative as they come.

    The guy makes you wonder how he could have come from the same genes as his dad and grandpa...

    Having already indicated my support for Newt, I'll happily suggest VP candidates. Fred Thompson would be great but, more realistic and equally strong, would be Condi or J.C. Watts.

    I would also love to see Lynn Cheney in the hunt for either top office! Wouldn't you love to see that? All the focus and courage of her husband, but with twice the eloquence and none of the baggage.

    I appreciate the strengths of McCain and Giuliani, but Secretary of Defense and Homeland Security, respectively, might be the best use of their talents.

    Yeah, she's definitely the better half in that marriage. She seems to have all the brains, charisma, eloquence of the two. I'm not sure what Dick has, other than hard core conservatives seem to love him for some reason (it's always baffled me).

    I want Huckabee to run for Senate against Pryor. That should be a priority in '08. I also wish Tancredo would run for Senate (Allard is vacating).

    Also -- Republicans nominating black candidates, thinking that will win over black and moderates, just doesn't work.

    I like John Kasich. Great spokesman, conservative, from swing state Ohio.

    5 by buckeye

    Nominating black candidates and putting blacks in positions of high power (though well deserved) does nothing when it comes to delivering votes. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe that was the motive in many cases if not all, but the data speaks for itself. There is no increase in black votes.

    Kasich was the guy that balanced the budget for Newt. I don't know about the Presidential race but we could certainly use his credibility and conviction on the national stage again when it comes to sound government. He is missed.

    Who says an older white guy can't have a "compelling life story"? I'd say that Fred Thompson pretty much qualifies in that regard and would be a darn sight better than some of the announced candidates. If we can't persuade Big Fred to run, then Haley Barbour would be an excellent choice. From what I have heard, he has done a fantastic job of rebuilding Mississippi after Katrina that has earned respect from liberals and conservatives alike.

    He's never been afraid to be partisan and make it clear he's not here to get along with Democrats and he thinks they're wrong, articulately very clearly why. He has always been able to do that in a non threatening way. We really do miss that in the party. Jack Kemp was great at it, Reagan was of course Reagan at it and Haley comes from that same old school. Be optimistic and positive, believe in freedom and the American dream, make it clear they're wrong and why.

    Can we go back to the old tone?

    ... it's January 2007. I'm not even starting to pay attention to the Presidential race until after the 2007 World Series.

    Just saying.

    So libs, how's that Congressional Resolution to end The War™ coming along?

    If you think Brownback is a good (if not viable) candidate, then frankly, and the others "suck", that really tells us that your judgement stinks.

    But still, my point is, it's impossible for any current candidate to stack up with Reagan. He's been almost deified by Republicans.

    But frankly, he had a lot of problems that they like to gloss over. Immigration - his amnesty basically started the mess we're in now. Our troubles in the Mideast weren't started by him (for that, blame Carter pretty much), but he didn't help either. Hezbollah killed 300 Marines in Lebanon. What did Reagan do about it? He ran away - pulled the Marines out. And AFAIK, never did a single noteworthy thing against Hezbollah. The times he did get tough in the Middle East were basically the same as Clinton did - drop a few bombs or missiles, and that's it. And supporting Saddam, albeit rather half-heartedly, was still pretty distasteful and a blemish on US foreign policy, even if it did hurt Iran.

    He was none of those horrible things you mentioned.

    At this point, I'm not sure on the guy we've never heard of.

    I'd take Romney, Gingrich, and Guiliani (in that order) without too much trouble.

    I think far too much is made of Romney's "flip flopping," but I've said as much a dozen times and no one cares.

    The comparison of Romney to Kerry are laughable. Romney changes his mind over a period of years whereas Kerry changes his mind between votes on the Senate floor. Not exactly the same thing and yes, I will stoop to throwing Reagan and abortion into the discussion.

    As for Gingrich and Guiliani's personal issues, I guess I should care more. I see lots of "scare the Christians" vote supression coming with either one of those guys, but Gingrich would be a solutions guy and Guiliani would just kick people's rear end and frankly, while I don't agree with Guiliani on abortion or gay marriage, I think he'd still give us Supremes that we would like.

    That is my main area and aside from the "he's nuts" part, the reason I'm skittish on McCain (campaign finance).

    As for Gilmore, the only real question is whether or not he'll drop out before he can raise enough money so we know something about him.

    5 by buckeye

    Well said.

    Look, no one can come away from this address by Mitt Romney on Iran and not be a little enthused about he guy.

    As to the flipping part. Listen, if we can offer support and redemption to those who actually had abortions, why can't we offer support and redemption to those who now agree with us?

    Since it apparently doesn't include, well, this guy, or me.

    Arab states must join this effort to prevent a nuclear Iran. These states can do much more than wring their hands and urge America to act. They should support Iraq's nascent government. They can help America focus on Iran by quickly turning down the temperature of the Arab-Israeli
    conflict -- stopping the financial and weapons flows to Hamas and Hezbollah, thawing relations with Israel and telling the Palestinians they must drop terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist.

    How brilliant! How is it that no one thought of this before? Also, dogs should stop chasing cars, we should make cars that run on tap water, and it should henceforth rain vitamin-fortified and calorie-free tofu which tastes just like gumdrops and candy canes! It's all becoming so clear to me!


    Everyone is making a bunch of hoo-ha about what he said in 1994 without looking at how he actually governed in 2004. He vetoed a bill to provide public funding of the destruction of human embryos, helped lead the fight against gay marriage--and he has been quite strong on the War on Terror (at least rhetorically). He is getting smeared by the liberal media--Boston Globe et al--so that he won't be nominated. Because they know what conservatives should know: Mitt Romney is a conservative force to be reckoned with and the Democrats aren't in the mood for reckoning.

    The guy was running statewide in friggin' Massachusetts in both '94 and '02, for chrissakes. What's he supposed to do? Run like Bret Schundler did in NJ?

    Schundler's a fine conservative and I admire his guts -- but I don't think much of his political acumen. Conservatives don't get elected statewide in New Jersey, nor do they in Massachusetts.

    So, am I saying that it's OK for somebody to sacrifice their values in exchange for political viability? Well, yes and no. I am suggesting that you get basically nowhere by losing. And while I'd never support somebody flat out lying to bolster their chances, I think it's obvious that one's rhetoric has to consider one's audience if you're at all interested in successfully wooing that audience.

    There are going to be 3 possible candidates for the GOP in '08: Giuliani, McCain, and Romney. And I think, in some (not all) respects, they will basically represent places on the spectrum from center left, to center, to center right.

    The "conservative" candidate is going to be Romney. That may be troubling to you purebreds who demand somebody with the consistency of a Sam Brownback or a Newt Gingrich. But you have to keep in mind that Kansas and Georgia are different beasts than Massachusetts. And it would've done Romney, nor the GOP, any good to just go out there and fall hard by running as a conservative there.

    Sorry, folks: sometimes political reality and ideological purity don't go so well together.

    If the man will say whatever it takes for political popularity in Massachusetts, then why shouldn't we assume that he has no character, and will say whatever it takes to get re-elected nationally, in terms of appeasing the Democratic mainstream press, once in the Presidency?

    Run like Reagan!

    ...because the press isn't and never will be, on a national stage, his base.

    I think you give way too much credit to the "principled" politicians out there. Most of them, eventually, become political roadkill. Nobody wishes more than I do that we could elect rock-ribbed genuine conservatives who would never once think to abdicate their positions or values for political expediency.

    But that, unfortunately, just doesn't work well in the political industry. It's fine for pundits, bloggers, thinktankers, and various other players in the political circus. But it doesn't work for most officeholders.

    You have to first win elections. I've worked on a number of campaigns over the years, some successful, some not. And one thing I've come to find out is that very few officeseekers are as principled as I am. Most of them "tweak" their rhetoric and positions to adhere to a deliberate political strategy -- the intent of which is, first and foremost, to win.

    I suppose Mitt Romney could've lost his race for governor in the interest of prepping to run for president -- but, then, he wouldn't be in a position to run, would he?

    Draft Tom Ridge!

    Another South Park Republican spouting off !

    Isn't Ridge a pro-abortion, tough on crime guy?

    We already have one of those.

    Brownback! And, why is Jeb never mentioned? I know it sounds dynastic, but who could deny he has everything? He's right on social issues and fiscal issues. And many of our wavering Senators would see him as a savior to look forward to.

    Has Jeb absolutely said he won't run? Couldn't we draft him?

    Damn the torpedoes!

    To be honest, I think he would sink the ticket, even if he were just the VP.

    To be perfectly honest, I think that that is the only way that Hillary Clinton would be elected into the White House.

    Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

    Clinton/Obama *MIGHT* have a 50/50 shot... but Clinton/Generic Democrat will only be elected if the Republicans do something like run Jeb Bush/Mary Cheney in 2008 (or, I suppose, if Perot runs again).

    I do think that Giuliani, if nominated, would be unstoppable. Not because the base would love him, mind... but because that 20% of the population that votes one way one election and the other way the next would love him.

    This, incidentally, is why I suspect that Giuliani will never, ever make it through the primaries.

    Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

    Let's face the facts. The 06 election was a referendum on the war.

    McCain was the logical candidate to run in that environment. But, if Bush puts in more troops and it does not work, the argument for McCain gets a lot weaker. Rudy is almost a RINO and the rest are second tier.

    But a week is a lifetime in politics and things could change by summer.

    But the war needs to be resolved in the next 12 months or an Obama could win.

    It's too early to jump to conclusions, panic or assume the world in 18 months will look anything like it does today. Let's watch baseball this summer.

    Consider a few things...

    1) Pre-election polls showing pretty significant support for an increase in troop strength. It's fallen quite a bit since then, led by Bush's support for it and the Democrats 180 on the matter.

    2) Lieberman's victory. That race was about nothing but the Iraq War. And Lieberman won, going away.

    3) In my district (IN-08), the GOP incumbent (John Hostettler) voted against the Iraq War Resolution and made that abundantly clear during the campaign. His opponent, conservative Dem Brad Ellsworth, gave an interview in which he said he'd have voted for the resolution had he been there.

    Ellsworth beat the incumbent about 60-40. Just one district, yes. But the notion that some pro-war Republican got trounced by some anti-war Democrat certainly didn't hold here.

    I don't think the '06 elections were quite as simple as you make them out to be. Basically everything was weighing against the Republicans -- with the lone exception being the economy. War sentiment was one of them, but a *lot* of candidates, from both parties, who voted for the war won reelection. The Foley thing didn't help. The 6-year itch. I think Congress' action in the Terri Schiavo affair was pretty damaging. The Abramoff and Cunningham scandals.

    As for '08, consider this: shortly after November's election, voters were asked by NPR whether they would likely vote for the Democrat or the Republican in '08. The Democrat held a 22 point advantage in that generic question. Bad news, right?

    Care to guess how well that margin held up when names were put to the question?

    That's actually good news for the GOP, so far as the presidential race goes. Support for HRC dropped precipitously when her name was put in the question against both Giuliani and McCain.

    And forget Obama -- he's not going to win the nomination. It just isn't going to happen.

    Nothing against Jindal -- I think a lot of him and think he has a bright political future.

    But do we really need "our own Obama"? We need a racial minority who has overcome the odds to reach great heights, etc. etc.?

    Is that really what this country has come to? The presidency as some kind of Hollywood storyline?

    We need to go find an Andrea Dorian survivor and put him on the ticket. He'd apparently be a shoo-in.

    What we most need is a strong and determined leader who understands the peril this nation is facing and is prepared to affirmatively deal with it. While I would much rather it be somebody with strong conservative credentials, it doesn't have to be.

    Most of the candidates on the Democratic side have demonstrated that they have no appreciation for the threat we face. The closest is Hillary Clinton -- but even she's now been cowed into giving in...and it's not hard to understand why.

    Personally, I think you're wrong -- I see a lot to like about two of the viable Republican prospects: Giuliani and Romney. Every time I hear Romney speak I come away more impressed than I was the last time I heard him. He's a sharp guy with, seemingly, boatloads of substance to him. And he seems like he has terrific leadership skills.

    Giuliani's executive leadership skills are widely known, of course. And I think he'd make a fine president to lead us on in what is, whether we like it or not, a new wartime.

    I differ with him on a couple social issues -- namely, gun control and abortion. But I think the latter is already on its course to becoming a state issue and, as such, much less important on the presidential platform than it once was.

    And I think, for the time being anyway, the gun control debate is over. There's no political will for much in the way of new gun legislation. Even the Democrats have ended that rhetoric.

    I would much rather have the Republicans' slate of candidates than the Democrats' slate. I read tonight where Hollywood is dumping Hillary for Obama. That should tell you something about the shape they consider themselves to be in.

    Cheer up. The candidate we get may not be as conservative as you like -- particularly on social matters. But, by far, the most important thing facing us right now is the jihadist threat.

    Remember that when you're evaluating candidates.

    Yeah, we're running out the B-Team. Not a "Real-Conservative" in the bunch. But that's ok, we can learn and grow from becomming a perpetual political minority. I'm sure Chairman Mao's Little Red Book had a passage or two on how getting pissed on by whacked-out Lefty Fruit Bats from Vermont or Queerifornica purified the apostate, Right-Wing soul.

    I don't think we should support any member of the GOP in 2008. We should force Democrats to make decisions and assume ownership. Yeah, that's the ticket. We'll sleep under some overpass on Parking Lot 95 so that Bratty Chuck Schumer has to clean the gutters and mow the lawn.

    Harry Reid is to ethics reform what HIV was to free love!

    Once the press gets going on the tenents of Mormonism, I think Romney
    will have a problem. I'm not criticizing him for this, I could care less
    about it, I grew up in a town with a lot of Mormons and worked at companies
    run by Mormons, but I know how people react to their beliefs once they are
    known. I'm just saying that people are more comfortable with things
    they are familar with and there is a lot about the Mormon religion that
    would be off putting to many people and the press would play up that angle.
    When Kennedy ran as a Catholic it was a big thing at the time, but don't forget
    Catholicism is an ancient religion that everyone knows everything about.

    Also, one person here accused Rudy of being a RINO. He isn't when it comes
    to crime, taxes, and the war. I lived in NYC during his time as mayor and saw
    a change in the city that was miraculous. He was inspirational after 9/11, even
    while he, himself, was greiving the loss of personal friends. He never wavered
    on terrorism, even before 9/11. He did throw Arafat out of some
    concert in 1995.

    The press may flag the fact that he's a Mormon and that some Evangelicals have problems with Mormonism. But Hell will freeze over before they "...get going on the tenets of Mormonism..." because in order to do that they would have to understand Christianity.
    If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"...

    Senior Writer

    Talk about being unhinged. You need to take a vacation. Calling a legitimate war hero a "nut job" is the essence of egomania. Who are you to be the judge of everyone else's character? Especially when they are all more successful than you are. Braver as well in McCain's case. You sound like a KosKid- which is a disgrace.

    United States Air Force

    your argument leaves something to be desired: cogency.

    Talk about being unhinged. You need to take a vacation.


    Calling a legitimate war hero a "nut job" is the essence of egomania.

    Napoleon was a legitimate war hero, and an egomaniacal nut job. MacArthur was also such, to a lesser extent. It happens. But egomania and impudence are only cousins, not twins.

    Who are you to be the judge of everyone else's character?

    On this blog, he's more or less whatever he wants to be. And assessing the character, quality, and suitability for office of political candidates is, for this blog, something of a raison d'etre.

    Especially when they are all more successful than you are. Braver as well in McCain's case. You sound like a KosKid- which is a disgrace.

    I'm impressed! The ad hominem hiding the Appeal to Popularity, followed by another personal attack in the form of the Undistributed Middle. (KosKids are disrespectful chickenhawkers, Erick was disrespectful, Erick is a disrespectful chickenhawker). Simply brilliant.

    If we can only be critical of those who are not more successful than us, then Redstate will become rather boring, I think, as we all join hands complimenting the greatness to which our betters have ascended.

    The Academy: researching the Illiberal Arts

    An incompetant bungling family at that!

    Remarkable ...

    You're not gonna last beyond the next three hours. I guarantee.

    They do not all suck.

    Mike Huckabee is a great candidate; a mainstream conservative, a loyal Republican, and a popular and successful governor.

    He's not part of a weird plural marriage cult in which he wears secret pink underwear.

    He's not stuck in the girls-gone-wild part of his life, leaving martial wreckage behind like Newt, and hizzoner. Imagine, a real grown-up!

    Unlike McCain, Hagel and Brownback, he also has the added appeal of having not been involved in any of the unpopular actions of this administration nor of any of its difficult political battles.

    For the uncommitted independents (and especially women voters) he has the great personal story of having overcome a serious weight problem. Imagine sitting down with Oprah and telling that compelling story!

    He did have to labor under balanced budget requirements as most governors do, but that's no argument against voting for him for president. That just meant that as governor he had to act fiscally responsibly, whereas the sitting president doesn't.

    Honestly, what's not to like?!

    Skeptics, take another look. Read the Newsweek interview here:

    No, I have nothing to do with the MH campaign. I just like Mike.

    Well by zuiko

    For the uncommitted independents (and especially women voters) he has the great personal story of having overcome a serious weight problem. Imagine sitting down with Oprah and telling that compelling story!

    That is why I am eagerly anticipating Richard Simmon's entry into the Republican primary. At least he doesn't have a history of tax and spending hikes.
    Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

    Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer
    "One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

    what plural-marriage cult he was referencing. Forgot about Islam. My bad.


    See the Academy

    Dennis Miller for more wimps!

    Zuiko -- Yours is not a serious response. Cute, maybe, but not serious.

    As for the tax charges two things:

    1) Governors labor under balanced budget requirements that presidents do not. So they cannot run up huge deficits like presidents can. This is called fiscal responsibility.

    2) Arkansas in the '90s had the worst road system in the nation. Some of this spending went into investment in the state's infrastructure, a means of improving the state's economy -- bringing a backward state like Arkansas up to date a bit. Ordinarily, this is not considered a bad use of taxpayer's money

    Bottom line: You can scour the record of any of the candidates and find a few left turns or foibles -- for some, Giuliani, Newt, Hagel, Romney, McCain, more than just a few.

    Question is, Whose left leanings and foibles can we best live with?

    That includes bigotry against Mormons.

    Your next post will be an apology for trying to peddle the cult smear, or it will be your last post. Your call.


    PS: Learn to use the Reply To This function.

    The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC.

    I agree they all suck and they have for quite a while now. Why do you have such group think, redstate people?

    Break free from the republican spin machine. Anything has to be better-2nd party, 3rd party, whatever.


    " in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
    Abe Lincoln

    (1)Take a trait that is a fundamental of leftism -- dishonesty, ignorance, disrespect for the rule of law, America, or American soldiers
    (2)Accuse those on the right of having that trait.

    It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

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