All I want for Christmas

Is a Republican presidential candidate that I can get excited about. I think I’ve found one. But first, the also-may-runs:

1. Mike Huckabee – He articulates the conservative position on virtually any issue as well as anyone. But his every-man demeanor doesn’t play well north of the south or left of the base. His decisions to forego a U.S. Senate race and host a Fox News show didn’t exhibit a public service seriousness and won’t impress swing voters.

2. Mitt Romney – His enterprise turnaround skills are desperately needed within the titanic federal bureaucracy. Whether it was his wealth, elite pedigree, or somewhat stiff personality, he failed to connect with a majority of voters in 2008. I don’t foresee a significantly different result in 2012.

3. Sarah Palin – She splashed onto the national scene like a seal on an Alaskan shoreline. The fame bug bit her quick and she hasn’t let anything get in her way, including a full term as Alaska governor. I commend her for sparking increased turnout this fall, but she lacks the gravitas to go the distance.

4. Newt Gingrich – The former U.S. House speaker has Limbaugh-like conservative instincts. Despite his deep experience and intelligence, his electability factor is low in large part due to the credibility cracks in his armor. He will live out his political days in a think tank, not a war room.

And now for my 2012 Republican frontrunner, the man in whom I get more interested each time I encounter him (most recently in Monday’s Wall Street Journal taking on public unions): Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Pawlenty knows how to put “limited government” into action, having reduced spending numerous times to balance his state’s budgets. He believes in free markets and has championed market-based reforms in education and health care.

The son of a milk truck driver, he hails from the heartland, but not from the south, making him attractive in non-southern swing states. His election would entomb the notion that the Republican Party is a single-region permanently minority party.

He is an attorney, but of the public-serving variety. He served as a criminal prosecutor before entering public service. He has proven his leadership mettle on various levels, from suburban city council to Minnesota House majority leader.

His eight years as governor of a larger-than-average state would be more government executive experience than his two would-be predecessors had combined. Yet, he has something in common with them: he has two children, both daughters.

Tim Pawlenty is a fresh face, but not flashy one. He won’t be draped by sweeping rhetoric and Roman promenades. Good. We don’t need celebrity now. We need quiet strength capable of enacting real reductions in spending that will put us on a sustainable path forward.

2 Responses to “All I want for Christmas”

  1. 1 Bennye Waskom December 28, 2010 at 17:40

    Kevin, Thanks for this insightful analogy of possible candidates. I will read more about Gov. Pawlenty. Keep up the comments.

  2. 2 James E Marvel MD January 3, 2011 at 01:48

    You are correct in your analysis of the candidates, however, we need someone who can articulate our positions on the issues. Mr Pawlenty is a doer but will be swept away with the press propaganda machine and totaled out by a lie-spewing Obama in a debate. I believe we have only the chance of an articulate candidate and Gingrich is the only one I have observed. Newt can form verbal pictures of the ruin Obama and his mob have perpetrated on us and how it has hurt us as a free people.This is what is necessary to end the rule of the “takers”!

Comments are currently closed.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 209 other followers


%d bloggers like this: