I was thinking a little bit about the Presidential race this evening, and it started when I moderated a comment on my last post from Phil Collins (who I presume is not “the” Phil Collins, just like the Maryland GOP ranks have a Dick Cheney who isn’t the former VP.) He claims that he spoke personally to Buddy Roemer last Thursday and “he’ll run.”
If you believe the conventional wisdom, a guy like Roemer has no shot against a cadre of candidates who have money and name recognition. You know the names: Romney, Palin, perhaps Huntsman and Pawlenty as well. According to those “in the know” the rest may as well stay home for various reasons: they’re running horrible campaigns (Newt Gingrich), too extreme for the American public (Ron Paul, Rick Santorum), or no one knows who they are (the rest.) Funny, but I seem to recall back in 2007 the 2008 election was going to be that 2000 New York U.S. Senate race pundits were salivating over (but never occurred): Rudy Giuliani vs. Hillary Clinton.
Almost anyone who runs for President thinks they’ll win, although there is that segment of society who has the ego trip of placing their name on the ballot line. (It’s why there are 156 – and counting – who have filed with the FEC to run. Most won’t even qualify for the ballot in Maryland.) The serious candidates, though, are the ones who are planning their message and the means to get it out there.
Yet even in this age of new media punditry, conventional wisdom makes the rules. Why else would a candidate who had not announced be invited to a GOP contender debate when others who were already in the race get snubbed? It’s understandable that a stage with over 150 contenders would make for useless debate, but someone like Gary Johnson belonged on the stage in New Hampshire. (Similarly, Buddy Roemer was snubbed for both New Hampshire and an earlier debate in South Carolina.) I think the 11 contestants I list on the GOP side are the most legitimate because they have some political experience and have a viable campaign. Others I would include on that list if they chose to run would be Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, and Rudy Giuliani. That’s not to say those are the only three, just the most likely.
It’s for those candidates who have announced that I’m slowly but surely working on the series of posts which will establish the Presidential hopeful I’ll stand behind this primary season.
Now some would say my track record is not good, as I supported Duncan Hunter in 2008 and preferred Steve Forbes when he ran in 1996 and 2000, but that’s only because the rest of the nation hasn’t caught up with me yet. (I say that only half-joking. Imagine what our country would be like with a flat tax system and a tougher foreign and trade policy like Hunter prescribed. I daresay our economic circumstances would be much improved.) Obviously I have a broad mix of conservative and libertarian views on issues, but it’s very complex. Someone said that the ideal candidate would take a little bit from everyone in the race, and I think almost every GOP candidate will have areas they shine in.
But since I want to use column space for this important issue, something has to give and I think I’m going to wait until later this fall to complete the monoblogue Accountability Project. After all, we have a Special Session so there’s no point in compiling legislative awards for the year until that’s over. The good news is that I have the most of the list of votes I’m using handy so the rest is just compilation. (I only need to find three good floor amendment votes to finish the list of 25 key votes for the session. The hard part will be limiting it to three, I’m sure.) I was also going to do it by county but since districts will be changing before the next election I’ll hold on to the old format until closer to 2014. It makes my life a little easier!
That’s one update. A second piece of news is that I should have a new advertiser soon, bringing my list to three. Yes, it’s a modest number compared to other websites but all have paid me in advance. They see value in maintaining a quality website which brings a mix of content on a daily basis. (You can too.)
So look for the posts on picking the Presidential candidates, along with other good stuff coming your way.