Monday, December 12, 2011

Frustration With the Field

Election season is almost upon us. The Republican Party offered up a large and varied field for consideration, which has been whittled down one by one.

I have to admit. Although I see considerable talent and experience in the original field, the country also saw an appalling lack of preparation. Many in the Republican field ran as if they had never witnessed a presidential election before.

We knew that debating in the fall might have something of an impact on the election. Why on earth did Rick Perry stumble into these competitions so woefully unprepared? He might have made a fairly good president, because the man is not as stupid as his detractors want to say. However, Perry needed a team to help him learn to parry rhetorically. He also needed to come up with a better way to defend his departures from conservatism in some way other than calling most of us "heartless."

I really liked Herman Cain. The man had a magnetism that filled a room. People instinctively liked him and he gave the impression that he liked you too, and had a good sense of humor to boot. Some say that sexual harassment allegations sank him. Only partly true. His decline in the polls also coincided with a sudden inability to answer any question that departed from his basic understanding of economics. Our world remains a dangerous place. It requires an American president with an already formed vision of how he wants to deal with its problems. Cain rarely gave an impression that he considered these problems very often.

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney come to the table with a solid understanding of foreign and domestic issues already in place. We have come to understand that the pitfalls of both are polar opposite. We don't want "world-historical Newt." We don't want the ultimate technocrat Romney. We need a president with energy, boldness, and focus.

We also do not want another Dear Leader. The Republican nominee must emphasize teamwork in his campaign and Cabinet. He cannot portray himself as the answer to all questions and the source of all solutions. But he must prove to us that he can assemble the team that can redirect our nation down the proper path, restoring prosperity and respect around the world.

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