Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Guest Post - What Republican Campaigns Reveal About Their Candidates

The following is an excellent guest post from Huck's Army Soldier, kempo_dad:

What the Republican Campaigns Reveal About their Candidates

In this highly unusual presidential campaign, one thing has not changed – the passionate and hope-filled promises of a better America. The real ideas and hard facts for how they could actually work are few and far between, but the promises are there. The problem is most of us have heard them too often, and have grown skeptical.

According to the latest polls, the number one concern among republicans is the economy. We have a deficit in the trillions of dollars and an economy that is, at best, slipping into a recession. Each candidate has shared his promises and the, too often, empty words of dreamy results, but who can really change the course? Which Republican candidate is best qualified to lead this country back to financial health?

At first, Mitt Romney looks as if he is the Messaiah on this point. A self-made millionaire who has a proven record of turning failing companies around, who better understands the economy – who better to lead America to financial recovery? But critics assail that his millions were made by corporate restructuring and sell-offs, which translated, is layoffs and job reductions. If so, that is hardly what we need.

Then, there’s John McCain. He touts his record of fighting against government waste and tenaciously denounces pork barrel spending, offering a handful of examples where he did just that. On the other side, he has never really had the responsibility of running a government or balancing its budget. Romney has asserted that he’s part of the “Washington is broken” problem.

Mike Huckabee did run a government, balancing its budget ten straight years. He got the attention of fiscal conservatives with a fresh, new idea for a stimulus package in the most recent debate – investing the money in a major infrastructure project using American labor and American-made materials. On the flip-side, he has been labeled by the Club for Growth and prominent conservatives as a tax-and-spend liberal.

Ron Paul makes the case that, were we not funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we could divert that money to stimulate the economy. However, that would require abandoning our security interests in that region – something that most republicans would consider far too great a risk.

So, who is really offers America the most hope? Perhaps the answer is not in the promises or opinions, but can be found in the campaigns themselves.

It is no secret that Mitt Romney has outspent all of the other candidates. Estimates are that he has outspent some contenders by as much as 20-to-1. Yet, he has only managed to win three primaries or caucuses, two of which were not contested and one in his “home” state of Michigan. How well does that testify of his ability to control spending? How does it portray fiscal responsibility? How would it translate as an ability to cut the waste out of the federal budget?

And what about the current front-runner, John McCain? Not that long ago, his campaign was on life support – about to go under. His answer – borrow money. Would that he his solution to the economic woes of our country? What would that do to the federal deficit?

How about Mike Huckabee? Huckabee has never had an abundance of cash for his campaign. In fact, the media clearly stated that once Iowa was over, he would be done – that he couldn’t financially compete nationally. But Huckabee has inspired a grass-roots effort that has kept him in the race, in contention in the national polls, and poised for several victories on super Tuesday. When his campaign was feeling the tightness of the budget during the Florida campaign, he made some tough decisions to cut spending, but stay in the black.

America has a problem with spending and deficits. We need a leader who can inspire people, make tough decisions, and put us back on track financially. Some people have already written Mike Huckabee off in this presidential election. That’s a mistake, in more ways than one.

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