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The Republican Primary: who to vote for (and why)

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Wide White: The Republican Primary: who to vote for (and why)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Republican Primary: who to vote for (and why)

Heading into Super Tuesday, Minnesotans (and members of 20 other states) will attempt to clarify the Republican presidential nominee. With this post, I'll attempt to help clarify your choice on February 5th.

(NOTE: None of the candidates has 100% of my support. The best candidate is okay, maybe good at best, but I wouldn't say any of them are great. Candidates are listed in order of my preference for them, beginning with my least favorite.)

Mitt Romney

Simply put, I can't stand him. I've expressed my disdain for him here and here and continue to follow that train of thought. As I said here, I doubt he would raise taxes and there's a good chance he'll stick with the pro-life position he is currently holding. But regardless of those positions, he's changed positions so many times on so many issues (including these two issues) that I can't trust him on anything. He's slick and seems to be willing to do whatever it takes to get to the White House. If he garners the Republican nomination, I don't think I could vote for him. If I do, I'll be holding my nose.

Rudy Giuliani

At least Giuliani still holds most of the positions he did 5 years ago. The problem is, he's still on the wrong side of the issues. He's pro-abortion, which is an immediate turn-off for me. I hesitantly considered supporting him here, but by the time I got to here, had definitively cut off the possibility of voting for him. He's only turned me off in debates with his pandering to voters both on the left and right. As I've stated before, "I can't support a candidate who runs kittywampus around the issues and fails to communicate clearly and directly."

Ron Paul

I've expressed both concern and support for Ron Paul here and here. I like his government reform annihilation platform. However, as much as I don't like the travesty in Iraq, I also don't think immediate pullout is the answer, as Paul does. Additionally, the congressman's quirkiness often leaves him looking very silly and un-presidential. Oh, and never mind that he's the only Republican without a legitimate chance of winning the primary at this point.

Mike Huckabee

If I don't vote for Huckabee, he'll have barely lost my vote. My biggest problem with him is economic. He doesn't have a great track record from Arkansas, having been known as a fiscal moderate who was willing to raise certain taxes and - more importantly for me - spending throughout his governorship, but he checks out with me on nearly every other issue and his personality is dynamite. I've indicated support for him here and here and that support remains intact. However, the economy is quickly becoming the dominant issue and I think it's a huge liability for him. He also reminds me of Bush in many ways and we desperately need someone who cuts spending and/or cuts through the partisan mess in Washington. I'm not convinced Huckabee can do either. Combine those things with his failure to build on his momentum from Iowa and I'm seriously questioning his viability as a candidate.

John McCain

Until recently, I don't think I've ever shown any support for John McCain. My impression of him has always been that he's a liberal Republican. I didn't know why or what issues he was liberal on, just that he was liberal. (Never mind that he was the second most conservative Republican in the last congressional period, the 1o9th Congress.) I noted my concerns in a few posts, including here and here. However, he impressed me in a debate that I watched and I decided to take a second look. So, why did I decide I could support him? First, he's pro-life, so an issue that's a major obstacle for me with Giuliani and even Romney was not an issue. Second, the reason he opposed Bush's tax cuts - a serious problem I had with him - was Bush didn't provide reduced spending along with it. McCain realizes you can't cut taxes without cutting spending when you've got a budget deficit. (He's now in favor of extending those tax cuts because, as he says, lifting the cuts would be the equivalent of a tax increase, which he opposes.) Third, McCain is right on the war, but more importantly, he was in favor of increasing the number of troops over there at a time when most Americans (admittedly, including me) were ready to pull out. On top of that, I trust him; I believe what he says. He's also the only candidate who I'm confident can beat any Democrat.

I've had concerns with McCain over immigration, but those concerns are no less with Huckabee, whose position isn't much different. Both are in favor of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in our country. I understand their point though and it's not a make-or-break issue for me.

Does McCain have holes? Yes, absolutely. But I'm leaning towards him over Huckabee because of two major reasons: 1.) I trust him and don't believe he'll change his position, confidence I'm not quite sure I have in Huckabee given his smooth personality (which is a huge advantage and likability factor for him) and spending concerns. 2.) While Huckabee has slowly slid from contention, McCain has established himself as the more viable candidate.

At this point, the race is probably down to McCain, Romney, and possibly Giuliani. Between the three of them, there's no question who I support. I like the grisly Vietnam veteran and former POW.


Blogger Reegz declared,


1/31/2008 8:23 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

What does that mean?

2/01/2008 12:56 AM  
Blogger Reegz declared,

To all of them really! I did like that you wrote this though. Thought it was great. You don't sound like you really are convinced yourself. :o)

2/01/2008 7:48 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

No, I can't say I'm convinced. I'm not real happy with my options either. I just don't think they're the sign of the end of Western civilization :)

2/01/2008 9:17 AM  

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