Huckabee's Out, Gingrich and Paul Are In

Posted by root | 15 May, 2011

The Republican field lost one candidate last week but picked up two others. 

Mike Huckabee has decided against a 2012 bid for President.  Huckabee, a former governor and current television show host, made a wise decision.  He has established himself as a conservative voice of reason in the today’s political debate.  It is obvious he enjoys his program on the Fox News Channel, and he can build his career as a television host and political commentator as the season heats up.  In addition, he saves his family and himself from all of the attacks from the other candidates and the media that go with a run for the White House.  Mike Huckabee has made a wise decision. 

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has declared his candidacy for President.  Among all the names mentioned in the Republican field Newt Gingrich is no doubt the smartest, most experienced, and most likely to stand toe to toe with President Barack Obama in the debates which will highlight the 2012 election.  The problem for Newt is his personal baggage and the strong feelings that most Americans have towards him.  Many like him, but many don’t. 

Newt’s style when he served as speaker was a tough, take no prisoners approach.  The Republican Congress balanced the budget and took Bill Clinton with them.  President Clinton really had no choice but to go along and risk offending the liberal base of the Democratic Party.  HillaryCare, the Clinton version of ObamaCare, was defeated by Congress, and Bill and the Democratic Party took a big licking in the 1994 elections not unlike the losses suffered by Obama and the Democrats in 2010 ironically on the heels of the passage of national health care legislation.  The balanced budget passed by Republicans lead the way for the economic recovery of the late 90’s that Bill Clinton takes credit for today. 

Yet with all of this Newt Gingrich remains a long shot to defeat Barack Obama.  To succeed Newt must convince Republicans he can win, convince Independents that he is not some wild radical who will dismantle the federal government with no regard to the proper role of government in the lives of the American people, and convince just enough Democrats that the grand liberal experiment conducted by President Obama including Obamacare has failed and that he is the man to put America back on track. 

Congressman Ron Paul is another story.  There is no reason to believe at this point that he has any real shot at the nomination.  This is his third run for president and this try is likely to be just as unsuccessful as his previous two.  Congressman Paul is an unusual combination of Republican and Libertarian.  While Paul’s message may resonate in principle with many Americans, most will not feel comfortable voting for him particularly with other candidates in the field whom Republican voters may find philosophically easier to embrace. 

So the campaign begins slowly.  Other candidates will begin announcing.  Some will drop by the wayside.  But through the early caucuses and primaries voters will sort through the pretenders and ultimately choose a candidate to take on Barack Obama.  It will be ugly and the attacks will be brutal.  

Republicans should be looking for the best candidate not the perfect one.  Because, at the end of the day, it will be up to the American people, Democrat, Republican, and Independent, to decide if the grand experiment of Barack Obama and his brand of socialism should continue or if traditional America should return.  If Republicans insist on strict ideology, Barack Obama may just get four more years and the American people will get bigger deficits, fully implemented Obama Care, more government regulation for individuals and business, and the ultimate goal more socialism.