Monday, February 27, 2012


Eight Days to Super Tuesday...

... and I am still undecided.

And I'm not alone. I spoke with several of my good Republican friends - folks who are ultra-active in campaigns in terms of their time, support, and money - who were all undecided as of the end of last week. For folks that usually have their candidate a year or two before the primary, we all are in uncharted waters.

As was documented on this blog (and others), I was supporting Herman Cain before allegations of an extramarital affair proved to be too much to overcome. I even stepped up as his county chair here in Blount County. I loved Cain's straight talk, his outside-the-Beltway background, and his promise to reform the tax code. But, alas, that was not meant to be.

With the field whittled down to four, I still find myself undecided at this late hour. After the last debate in Arizona, I managed to narrow down my personal choice to two candidates. Ron Paul may have a great understanding of economic issues, but his views on foreign policy would likely get us all killed and his ultra-libertarian views eventually collapse upon themselves when freedoms eventually abut each other. I also think that Dr. Paul would have a hard time winning over voters in a general election against Obama because of his presentation. So Dr. Paul will not be getting my vote.

Neither will Rick Santorum. I really want to like Santorum. He says several good things that I can support. I even had him on the shortlist of candidates for the White House back in May of 2005. But lots has happened since then. Santorum says some strange things that even have conservatives scratch their heads, all of which could be overlooked by a conservative voter if not for all of the times that Santorum has compromised his conservative principles when it has personally benefited himself or those close to him. For example, Romney's crushing of Santorum in the Arizona debate on the Arlen Specter issue, where Santorum supported the liberal Specter over conservative Pat Toomey. I very much remember that episode, and Santorum's explanation was inadequate in parts and downright untruthful in parts. His debate performance in Arizona (I scored it last, even below Dr. Paul's) was crippling. If he were to perform similarly in a general election debate against Obama, the GOP would be looking at a double-digit loss at the top of the ticket and quite possibly losses down ticket that could take the Senate out of play. I think Rick's a really nice guy and appreciate much of his service in the Congress, but I can't pull the lever for him this time around.

That leaves Mitt Romney - the former frontrunner who tried to sit on a lead and run out the clock but instead showed weakness by allowing for one upstart candidate after another to temporarily pull ahead of him - and Newt Gingrich - the debate master who is trailing in the polls in several key states and has allowed Santorum to pull much of the conservative base by default after such bizarre talking points as building a base on the moon. I've met both men - Romney is a really nice guy, while Gingrich really isn't. I am obviously concerned that Romney has such a hard time connecting with the middle class (even if the middle class under Obama is almost non-existent). His past statements when running for Governor of Massachusetts are very tough to swallow. Of course, they won't be in the general election. In the current political climate, I told a Romney operative several months ago that Romney would have been better served to have no elected office on his resume - particularly in Massachusetts, where he had to take positions that are toxic with the GOP base.

Meanwhile, I'm also worried that Newt's campaign has been mismanaged and unorganized. (How does one not get on the ballot in major states like Virginia? Folks like myself who are, for the most part, out of the game but still know how to run campaigns and get things done regarding ballot access, aren't that hard to find. Sure, campaigns are either for the energetic young like Austin Walne and Ted Boyatt or the learned sages like Tom Ingram and Bob Davis, but there are plenty of us middle-aged folks who could have been asked to help.) Given Obama's enormous money advantage, there is no room for a disorganized campaign in the general election.

Both candidates have endorsements from folks that I very much respect - Fred Thompson, Herman Cain, and J.C. Watts for Gingrich, Nikki Haley, Jan Brewer, and Bill Haslam for Romney.

I don't plan on waiting to Super Tuesday to vote. I can't recall the last time I voted on an actual Election Day. Besides, I like the idea of voting at the old Blount County Courthouse instead of at the high school. I can see the merits in waiting - we'll know what has happened in Michigan and Arizona by then. Romney needs to win both states, and I can see him doing that. Gingrich has to win Tennessee and Georgia to remain in the national conversation, particularly given that he likely would have won Virginia but failed to make the ballot there.

I remain undecided, but I hope to make up my mind in the next 24 hours.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Rob, not only as a Republican and as a conservative, but as your friend I am begging you to please at least consider Rick Santorum.

If you care at all about having a genuinely pro-life, pro-family candidate as our nominee, not just one that talks the talk, you won't support Willard Mitt, and if you want someone that has even a remote chance at winning in November, you can't support Newt. At least pray about it.

I am proud of my support for Rick Santorum this time 'round. I am asking all of my friends to do what I have already done, and cast their vote for him.
David -

This morning, I witnessed clips of Santorum trumpeting his support for unions. Then there's the robocalls trying to get Dems to interfere in the regrettably open primary.

If I was on the fence, I'm not now. Sorry, man.


Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?