I want to make it clear that I am a pragmatic guy. I think idealism is great to strive for but it takes time to make it happen. I also believe that there is no perfect candidate. Like it or not, it comes down to who I believe is “electable” and a person that has “most” of the sensibilities or inclinations I would want in a President.
As a person who has done his best to give our current president and VP the benefit of the doubt the last 8 years, even I have grown tired of the “cowboy” attitude that has offended so many people. For me, it is definitely time for a change. Believe it or not, I have often thought it is time for a Democrat to win the Presidency. That is how bad I want change and how tired I am of watching the current administration get the shit beat out of them. I am one who has become ashamed of the current administration.
Having said all that, my rational side says to try to keep an open mind to the new Republican candidates. In no particular order, this is where I currently stand.
Mitt Romney – There is something I don’t trust or like in him. I like the fact that he came from the private sector. As such, he understands there is a world beyond politics and public service. I also find it interesting he has spent so much money on the campaign so far but has swayed relatively few people his way. I suppose I should be encouraged that money does not and cannot always buy support. That certainly fits the bill with Mr. Romney. Because I do not understand Mormonism, I wonder if that will help or hurt him in his role as President.
Mike Huckabee – He is coming on strong now but he is playing to the “good ole boy” personality. He is entertaining to listen to and plays well on TV but my sensibilities say he would not make a good President for me. He is way too conservative for me and his religious convictions does not help much. It reminds me too much of our current President. He may be popular but I am not interested in him.
Fred Thompson – He is also fun to listen to. I like his movie and TV persona. I respect his willingness to stand his ground and not waffle. But I lost a lot of respect for him when he dismissed global warming as a real phenomenon. It is ok to stand to your convictions but jeez, when new information comes, you have to be prepared to respond and react, not be in denial. His pro-life stance is also too conservative for me. I respect the man but I don’t think I want him as my President.
John McCain – I really like and respect John McCain. He has done a lot in his life. He has experienced hardship and torture and he has become successful. He is willing to break from the party line to speak his mind. He has a moderate view and appears to be able to see different sides of an argument. My biggest concern is that he is really showing his age. I am concerned whether or not he has the stamina to survive the 2008 election process and still be effective. When I hear him speak, I like his words but I worry about how much it takes out of him when does so. I think he will be able to reach across to the Democrats and bring consensus.
Rudy Giuliani – Rudy has the distinction of being a 9/11 hero from NYC. I respect that. However, his personal history concerns me with his multiple divorces and getting caught up with Bernard Kerik. He says he leads a transparent life now but I am not so sure about his past. I like that he is not overly conservative. I know it makes traditional Republicans cringe but that is why I am willing to stay open to Rudy. I also think he will be able to reach across to the Democrats and bring consensus.
The other guys are beyond my consciousness. For now, I lean towards John McCain and Rudy Giuliani on the Republican side.