My top choice was Herman Cain, but sadly, he is not running any more. Of the remaining candidates, Rick Santorum is at the top of my list. If he weren’t running, I’d have to go Ron Paul, even though his foreign policy scares me. If Paul had a different foreign policy, he would be my top choice, or very close to it (although I do disagree with him on some other issues as well).
I don’t trust Romney — he was a liberal for far too many years, and (imo) became “conservative” only when it was politically expedient to do so — and that about sums up his character, imo — political expedience, rather than character and backbone. Besides, I think he is least likely to win against Obama, because he’ll be like McCain, only worse — even less likeable, and also bland. He won’t get conservatives fired up and lining up to go to the ballot boxes.
Newt… he’s an excellent debater, but I think he is too much of a “say what I need to get elected” kinda guy (like Romney, but not quite as bad, because Newt does at least have a conservative background and record). But he seems to be pandering to get elected. I think he would be the most effective President, because he knows how Washington works and can get things done… but I’m not sure if I’d always like what he could get done. Plus, he has character issues, and I don’t fully trust him. If he can’t be trusted to take his marriage vows seriously, why should I trust him to take his Oath of Office seriously?
Any of them would be better than Obama, but here’s how I rank them:
Who I’d vote for — Santorum, Paul, Gingrich, Romney
Who would be most effective as President — Gingrich, Romney, Santorum, Paul (although perhaps I should bump Paul up a bit, because he’d veto probably 90% of legislation Congress passed, and that’s probably a good thing, and can be a measure of effectiveness)
Most likely to beat Obama in a general election — Paul, Gingrich, Santorum, Romney
- Paul gets much of the youth vote, as well as brings in the most liberals, libertarians, and independents, without losing too many conservatives — his anti-government, pro-small government, cut-spending message will resonate with many of us, and hopefully his libertarianism on social matters and his isolationist foreign policy won’t turn off too many (if the choice was between Obama, Paul, and a handful of 3rd-party people).
- Gingrich is a good campaigner and speaker, and he can get the conservative base fired up (even if it is somewhat empty words), and it’s votes that count, so getting voters fired up is key.
- Santorum is a rock-solid conservative, so may lose a few independents and centrists, but he’s somewhat small-government (but who isn’t, compared to Obama?), so may keep some libertarians; but the biggest thing he has going for him, is his ability to keep and solidify the conservative base, more so than Paul, probably more so than Gingrich, and certainly more so than Romney. His biggest problem is that he doesn’t generate much enthusiasm from his manner and mannerisms. If he could change that (add a dose of Herman Cain, for instance), he’d probably be better even than Gingrich in this matter.
- Romney is bland — he can’t get people fired up to vote for him (he’s even struggling in the primary, when he’s outspending his opponents right and left — how much worse will he do when he’s being outspent by the Obama machine?), and that’s a huge problem. McCain’s problem in 2008 was that he induced a yawn in the conservatives, and they didn’t so much vote *for him* as *against Obama*. That doesn’t win elections. From my understanding (and mostly memory) of past elections, the winner is the one who generates the most positive — the most people voting *for* him; and the nominee whose best selling point is, “Vote for me, I’m not the other guy”, loses every time. It happened in every election in my memory, but particularly Dole, Kerry, and McCain.
Ok, so this post is just a tad out-dated, since Hilary Clinton has officially conceded defeat, but I should have written this some time ago, and am just now getting around to it.
Throughout the campaign, there has been talk about the sexism factor with Hilary’s Presidential bid, and the racism factor with Obama’s Presidential bid. I’m not discounting that there has been sexism or racism by some people in how they decided who to vote for in the primaries, nor how they may vote in the general election. But what gets me, is that it seems that these two candidates want(ed) it both ways. Or, at least, that Hilary was glad enough to get the women’s vote simply because she was a woman (which is as sexist as not voting for her simply because she was a woman), and that Obama didn’t decline any votes made by blacks simply because he is also black (which is equally racist as voting for John McCain simply because he is white).
Several months ago, I read a blog in which a feminist was beginning to whine and cry about how that Hilary was not further ahead, or wasn’t getting the female vote, or that Obama had just taken the lead — or whatever the thing was. She made some comment along the lines of, “Women should support Hilary, just because she’s a woman.” Blatant sexism!
And then there’s this article, which I just skimmed, that says that a lot of black conservatives want to vote for Obama simply because he’s black too…. but they don’t know if they can ignore his political views in order to do so. I can understand that. I disagree with it — profoundly — but I understand it.
Might John McCain need to pick a black running mate, so that black conservatives don’t jump ship? I mean, McCain needs all the votes he can get! There are so many conservatives (including myself) who are not at all thrilled with the possibility of voting for him, and may just sit out the election or vote for a third-party candidate. If McCain picks a conservative enough running mate, I might be able to vote for the ticket; but I’m pretty sick of voting for the lesser of two evils, because it seems that all we’ve gotten is more evil. I hope Obama loses (and when Hilary was still in it, I hoped she wouldn’t win the Presidency, either), but I can’t vote for McCain.
So, does racism come into play in this Presidential race? Yep. But it also works both ways! And I have yet to hear Barack Obama tell his fellow African-Americans not to vote for him because of his skin color, but to make their decision based solely on the politics and his political viewpoint. And while McCain may get some votes out of racism, I think that Obama will get just as many votes if not more, out of racism.
Some people may call it “reverse racism” or “reverse discrimination” or “reverse sexism,” but those are false terms. If it’s racism, discrimination, or sexism, then it is that thing regardless of who is doing the discrimination and who is being discriminated against. Here’s the way I look at things — if you reverse the races (for instance, white people voting for John McCain just because he’s white), and it sounds racist… then it’s just as racist for you to be voting for Obama simply because he’s black; and it’s just as sexist for you women to have voted for Hilary Clinton just because she’s female. If white people vote for McCain simply because he’s white, that’s as racist as black people voting for Obama simply because he’s black. Period. End of story.
And if you’re a black person (or African-American, if you prefer — I don’t want to offend either way) reading this blog, and you’re going to vote for Barack Obama simply because he’s black (even if you don’t agree with his politics), then you are perpetrating the very racism that you claim to hate and want to do away with.
I remember watching the Cosby Show, and A Different World when I was a kid and a teenager, and of course Oprah! (Actually, most of the shows that I liked then were black shows — Fresh Prince, Family Matters, Living Single…) And I remember a lot of talk about being “color-blind” and a series of shows Oprah did on racism. It had to be 15 years ago. But you know what? It still applies.
So, to you black conservatives who may be seriously considering voting for Barack Obama simply because he is black, even if you don’t like all of the liberal stuff he has voted for in his career, and all of the liberal stuff he’s advocating now as the Democratic candidate for President — I say you’re racist. Understandably so; but racist nonetheless.
The choice for President should be based on what the candidates stand for. When Alan Keyes or some other conservative black ran for office, I don’t recall hearing Republicans saying, “Black people just need to vote for him because he’s black.” I understand that Obama has a great amount of appeal, with his personality and presentation; plus, he is the Democratic candidate for President, so he has at least a 50-50 chance of winning, which is more than Alan Keyes or any other black person has been able to say. I understand it’s tempting to vote for him. But if you do, make sure it’s because you agree with him, and not just because of the color of his skin. Remember Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech? It included this famous line, “a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man’s skin determines the content of his character.” I’m afraid that some people are saying that the color of Barack Obama’s skin determines the content of his character, because some conservatives are courting the idea of voting for him despite his thoroughly consistent liberal views and voting record.
You don’t want to vote for John McCain? That’s fine — I don’t either. Depending on who he picks as his running mate, I may vote for him, but probably not (the names of potential running mates that I’ve heard have been kicked around are too liberal for me, as well). But I ain’t voting for Obama, either! I’m planning on trying to find who all the third-party candidates may be, and I’ll try to pick the best one of them — regardless of race or gender.
Vote your conscience, not your skin color.