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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Conservatives will have to back Romney

“The Democrats are more radically liberal and irresponsible than they have been at any time since 1933. The damage they will do to every aspect of federal action over the next two, four or six years will be substantial—perhaps grave. For me, defeating that danger is the highest priority. After the election, beating up backsliding Republicans will be a task I will return to with relish.” — Tony Blankley

We are still eight months from the Iowa caucuses and seventeen months from the next general election. The media is playing the “what if game” with possible and potential candidates for the Republican Party’s next presidential candidate. This is what the media and political junkies do. It’s their way of earning a living.

Before we continue let’s take a look at pervious years and see the candidates that were running for the GOP nomination. If you are old enough to remember some of these candidates you might get a chuckle or two out of the list. The eventual nominees are shown in bold type. [Source: Eric Erickson of Red States]

In 1964 we had:

Hiram Fong of Hawaii

Barry Goldwater of Arizona

Walter Henry Judd of Maryland

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. of Massachusetts

Nelson Rockefeller of New York

George Romney of Michigan

William Scranton of Pennsylvania

Margaret Chase Smith of Maine

Harold Stassen of Minnesota

In 1968 we had:

Frank Carlson of Kansas

Clifford Case of New Jersey

John Lindsay of New York

Richard Nixon, then of New York

Ronald Reagan of California

Jim Rhodes of Ohio

George Romney of Michigan

Nelson Rockefeller of New York

Winthrop Rockefeller of Arkansas

Harold Stassen of Minnesota

John Volpe of Massachusetts

In 1980 we had:

John Anderson of Illinois

Howard Baker of Tennessee

George H. W. Bush of Texas

John Connally of Texas

Phil Crane of Illinois

Bob Dole of Kansas

Larry Pressler of South Dakota

Ronald Reagan of California

Harold Stassen of Pennsylvania

Lowell Weicker of Connecticut

In 1988 we had:

George H. W. Bush of Texas

Bob Dole of Kansas

Pierre S. du Pont, IV of Delaware

Alexander Haig of Pennsylvania

Jack Kemp of New York

Paul Laxalt of Nevada

Harold Stassen of Minnesota

Pat Robertson of Virginia

In 1996 we had:

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

Pat Buchanan of Virginia

Bob Dole of Kansas

Robert K. Dornan of California

Steve Forbes of New York

Phil Gramm of Texas

Alan Keyes of Maryland

Richard Lugar of Indiana

Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania

Morry Taylor of Ohio

Pete Wilson of California

In 2000, we had:

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

Gary Bauer of Kentucky

Pat Buchanan of Virginia

George W. Bush of Texas

Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina

Steve Forbes of New York

Orrin Hatch of Utah

John Kasich of Ohio

Alan Keyes of Maryland

John McCain of Arizona

Dan Qualye of Indiana

Bob Smith of New Hampshire

In 2008, we had:

Sam Brownback of Kansas

Mike Huckabee of Arkansas

Jim Gilmore of Virginia

Rudy Giuliani of New York

Duncan Hunter of California

Alan Keyes of Maryland

John McCain of Arizona

Mitt Romney of Massachusetts

Ron Paul of Texas

Tom Tancredo of Colorado

Fred Thompson of Tennessee

Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin

This year so far we have:

Michele Bachmann of Minnesota

Herman Cain of Georgia

Newt Gingrich of Georgia

Jon Huntsman of Utah

Gary Johnson of New Mexico

Ron Paul of Texas

Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota

Mitt Romney of Massachusetts

Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania

Some of them dropped out before the primaries, some after, and some garnered votes at the convention without doing much. But looking at the field, 2012 doesn’t seem more or less weak than most of the others.

Right now the front runner in all of the polls, even though he has not officially announced his candidacy is Mitt Romney. The candidate that seems to be drawing most of the attention from the media and a favorite of the Tea Parties is Herman Cain. No doubt the smartest of all the candidates is Newt Gingrich, but the ex-Speaker of the House has done irreparable damage to his candidacy in the past week with his remarks on Meet the Press two Sundays ago regarding Paul Ryan and his plans to reform Medicare.

All of the other candidates are ranging in the 8%-10% range in the polls with 87% of potential GOP voters saying they do not know who they will vote for.

As a conservative I like Herman Cane and I wish him well. I like his style and I like what he has to say, but I also know it is doubtful he can raise the money it will take to beat Obama in the general election — and the smart GOP donors know this.

Last week Romney spent one day in Las Vegas at a fund raiser and he walked away with over $10 million in donations. This is what will be needed to take on Obama in the 2012 general election. Obama plans to raise $1 billion dollars. And he probably will.

Romney is a business man and a former governor. He was tested in 2008 and472px-Mitt_Romney most of his skeletons are out of the closet. The only real issue he has is his signing the Romney Care bill in Massachusetts. He can deal with his in a simple manner by stating he will sign, if passed, the repeal of ObamaCare the big issue with the Tea Party.

Romney is a slick, good looking candidate who no doubt will be able to handle Obama in debates, especially on the economy and job creation. As a former Republican governor blue state he will be able to play on that experience and claim he was able to get partisan side to work with each other.

I realize many of my conservative friends do not much care for Romney — neither do I, but I believe the stakes are too high to play long ball in 2012. If the GOP, with the support of the Tea Parties, take back the Senate and elect a Republican president in 2012 we will move the ball well down the field. The pressure from a conservative House and Senate will drive the legislation and all we really need from the president is his pen. This is why we need Obama out and a Republican in.

I am not the biggest fan of Romney, but when I look over the field of GOP candidates I do not see any of them rising to the top except Romney. I know the Tea Party folks will not be happy with this, but I remind them that before you can do anything you need to get elected. I Republican controlled House and Senate with a Republican in the oval office is the goal for 2012. Romney is smart enough to know, if elected he has he conservatives to answer to.

We have another year to watch the field thin out and someone rise to the top. I just hope it is someone that can capture the votes of the independents and not a lack luster John McCain. If it is true that America is a center-right nation than we need a center right candidate in 2012. We need a candidate that can generate some passion in the voters — especially the Tea Party voters.

I could be wrong, but this is the way I see the 2012 election shaping up today.

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