Friday, February 1, 2008

Still With Fred

I started this political fiasco called the primary season as a Fred Thompson supporter. Before Fred was officially a candidate, I supported him. I backed Thompson because he was truly the most stable conservative among the race. He stood for the same conservative principles that I have stood upon for years.

But Fred is no longer. And I struggled with the decision on whom to back when Fred announced his withdrawal from the race. There are things that I like about most of the Republican candidates (the real Republicans, that is, not Ron Paul), but there are things that I don't like about them, as well. In the end, I came to the conclusion that there was only one candidate that I felt had the experience, the leadership skills, and the vision to lead us into the next four years: Rudy Giuliani.

The only stumbling point I had with Giuliani was his stance on abortion. I spoke to this issue on the latest episode of The Joe Show, but I'll cover it briefly here -- as long as the President doesn't have the sole authority to write the law on abortion, I don't think it really matters what his stance is on the subject. With the current checks and balances in place, I just don't believe that the President can actually affect the legality of abortion one way or another.

But now, Rudy is out of the race, after a dismal showing in Florida. Another candidate, another disappointment. And we're left with whom?

John McCain: He's a war hero, experienced in the Senate, and someone whom I feel wants to be President just a little too much (evidenced by his many, many shots at running for President). I don't like the way he toots his own horn every opportunity he gets (I understand that's what the campaign is all about, I just don't think he does it very tactfully). I have no concerns that he might pull us out of Iraq prematurely, I'm just not sure that he really has the vision necessary to address the rest of the issues that America faces today.

Mitt Romney: An experienced businessman and successful Chief Executive from the Massachusetts Governor's Mansion, Romney clearly has the experience to run the country like a business. And that just might be what the United States needs to cure some of what is ailing her. But I haven't seen that Romney has the judgement needed to serve as Commander In Chief. He is definitely a well-spoken, smooth-talking, calm and collected candidate when it comes to the attacks from other candidates. He has some ideas that definitely provoke thought. Though I feel he might be better suited for the Oval Office than McCain, I'm still not sure he's the right man for the job.

Ron Paul: Ross Perot deja vu. Enough said.

Mike Huckabee: A successful Governor from Arkansas (I won't hold the similarity to Bill Clinton's Governorship against Huckabee), and a truly Conservative former Baptist Minister. No threats that Huckabee will fall on the wrong side of Conservative issues. When he speaks, I get the impression that he's being forthright and honest with us. But still, I'm just not sure.

So who does one choose? My first two choices have both already dropped from the race, and the remaining choices range from just a little less than stellar to you gotta be kidding me. I know how I'm inclined to line up this time, but I also know that such a choice will probably mean that my candidate once again will drop out of the race in the coming weeks. I'm not about to get behind a candidate just because he's most likely going to be the eventual nominee, but it would be nice to back someone with a realistic chance of winning.

Which means that, for now at least, I'm going to sit back and watch closely while the Republican candidates duke it out in the media and the Democratic candidates Jekyll/Hyde each other. I'm not in a Super Tuesday state -- in fact, I still have about three months until the Indiana primary -- so I have plenty of time to decide where to line up, as if it will even matter come May.

For now, I'm still with Fred -- even if it doesn't matter -- and there's one decision I have made: if the nomination is already secured before the Indiana primary on May 6, I'll be casting a symbolic vote for Fred Thompson for the Republican nomination for President.

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