I would love to get feedback on this. If you have a horse in the race yet, tell me who and why. Some of the concerns I have may not even matter to you at all. This is a wide-open race, with no clear front-runner. It will be interesting (to me, at least) to see how the race develops over this year. If you want sources for any of the quotes, just let me know.
Huckabee – I like Mike Huckabee as a person. I dislike him as a candidate, other than his support of the FairTax. He seems to be the anti-Reagan in the following quote.
“The greatest threat to classic Republicanism is not liberalism; it's this new brand of libertarianism, which is social liberalism and economic conservatism, but it's a heartless, callous, soulless type of economic conservatism because it says "look, we want to cut taxes and eliminate government. If it means that elderly people don't get their Medicare drugs, so be it. If it means little kids go without education and healthcare, so be it." Well, that might be a quote pure economic conservative message, but it's not an American message. ...”
Romney– Mitt Romney comes across to me as a political opportunist, switching sides back and forth based on the political winds. I actually don’t have a big issue with “RomneyCare” because it was only state-wide, not nationwide. I don’t have a problem with individual states enacting whatever kind of health care they want (state’s rights at play here.) It is hard to pin down a policy position to oppose or support, because his positions on the various issues seem so fluid.
Palin – Oh, where to start? I actually really liked Sarah Palin at first. I still don’t take much issue with most of her positions. I do think she handles criticism extremely poorly, and I can’t stand that she has yet to be able to complete a full term in office. She seems somewhat vain, and somewhat vindictive. She also has the problem of the perception of her as not too bright. I said after the election in 2008 that if she took some time out of the spotlight and did a couple years of brushing up on her reading and gaining some knowledge, her next time out may go well for her. She hasn’t appeared to do that.
Gingrich – Newt Gingrich
"...believes that what he says in public and how he lives don't have to be connected,"according to his 2nd wife. I can’t support that in a President. Honestly I don't know much about his issue positions.
Paul – I voted for Ron Paul in the GOP primaries in 2008, despite his foreign policy stances. Over the last couple years, I have come to agree with him on that more and more. I do have a big problem with his defense of the whole Wikileaks situation. Other than that, Paul is good to go for me.
Pawlenty - Tim Pawlenty has lobbied the Governors' Ethanol Coalition to mandate higher ethanol use nationwide. While most people are looking for cuts in the Federal budget amid a growing defecit, Pawlenty wants to actually grow the defense budget. And in 2006 he said:
"The era of small government is over . . . government has to be more proactive, more aggressive."Next.
Daniels – Mitch Daniels sounds good, a “fiscal conservative” who has asked for a “truce” on social issues. A couple minor negatives against him are that he isn’t opposed to raising taxes in order to balance the budget, and he is apparently a supporter of the War on Drugs. I doubt he ends up running though; he probably will stay in Indiana for a while longer.
Barbour – I like what he said recently about the need to cut defense spending. However, he also supports farm subsidies, corporate welfare, and eminent domain abuse.
Santorum – Rick Santorum has
acknowledged his quarrel with "what I refer to as more of a libertarianish Right" and "this whole idea of personal autonomy." In his book he comments, seemingly with a shrug, "Some will reject what I have to say as a kind of 'Big Government' conservatism."