Monday, February 04, 2008

My Take on the Final Four

I know, I know: It's a little early to be talking about the Men's NCAA Final Four basketball tourney, but I've got another "Final Four" on my mind today: The final four presidential candidates. Heading into Super Tuesday, the Democrats will be choosing between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. On the Republican side, John McCain and Mitt Romney are duking it out for the party nomination.

My take on the presidential race is this: I want someone who is A COMPETENT LEADER. That's it. Shouldn't be hard.

Look, I don't have to run down the litany of challenges our country and our society faces, but it's clear the "times they are a'changing" and that change requires strong, competent leadership with a good sense of what's important and how to get the job done. Let's examine the field:

Democrats - Looking at the Democrats, I see "yet another Clinton" and a Jr. Senator:
  • If you vote for Hillary, you get Bill - you're fooling yourself if you don't understand that. Some may think that's all right: "two for the price of one," but not this voter. I think he did some decent work while in the White House, but that ship has sailed. His contribution to the moral downfall of the Presidency can not be forgiven - kids used to say "when I grow up I want to be President." I don't hear that anymore.
  • A vote for Obama is a vote for someone who is quite literally just getting their feet wet. Although he talks a better, more inclusive game than does Hillary, he's just too "junior" for the job and you're fooling yourself if you don't understand that.
Republicans - An aging Washington insider or a proven businessman:
  • On the Republican side, I'll go on record: I don't trust McCain. He's been on the "inside" so long he doesn't know what the "outside" looks like. So much of the legislation with his name on it is just flat-out bad for the country (e.g. McCain/Feingold, his sponsorship of the immigration amnesty bill, etc.) AND very intertwined with a Democratic viewpoint. And did you know that John McCain was offered the vice-presidential slot in the ticket by John Kerry and actually considered accepting running with Kerry against Bush-Cheney in 2004? Would Kerry have ever made that offer to Romney?*
  • Frankly, I think Mitt Romney's the man for the Republican nomination and the man most likely able to win the White House in November. His ethical character and principles are unquestionable. His business and economic leadership is proven and sound - being a Governor gives one a lot more experience relevant to running a country than any Senator would pick up. I think on Foreign Policy Romney will easily be more effective than the other candidates if for no other reason than he doesn't have the Clinton/McCain baggage and comes in with practical experience in negotiations.
Look - these are troubled and troubling times with loads of uncertainty on the horizon. Regardless of whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, the best thing we can do is put a COMPETENT LEADER in the White House and let him do his job.

That man is Mitt Romney.
PS to Mike Huckabee: Quit pandering for a cabinet post and do what's right for the party and the Nation. Drop out and throw support over to Mr. Romney.

(*Props to Kevin Carmony for the final four collage above and some inspiring reading. Read his fine blog with a lot more analysis on why McCain is not worth your vote
here).

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