Let me first remind readers that this blog is my own thoughts and in know way represent my church. I enjoy having the opportunity to post my thoughts and ideas as a link from our church page, but my words do not necessarily mean our church sponsors or endorses my ideas.
As Florida gets ready to vote in the GOP Primary in the next few days, I want to take a moment to reflect on what we've seen, what we've learned, and what last night's State of the Union address by our President adds.
I think it's more than safe to say that in a year where it is of the utmost importance for the conservative movement to make a drastic change in Washington in regards to elected officials such as our President and his "Democratic majority led allies" (thank you Gov. Daniels), the GOP has ran out some of the weaker candidates that could be had. Many of the conservative darlings and GOP stalwarts like Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Mitch Daniels, Mike Huckabee, and yes, even Jeb Bush, decided to sit this election out. In one way I'm very disappointed. With so much at stake this year, these conservative heroes of the GOP should be out front waging the war instead of offering commentary on the four men brave enough to step into the caged circle for a bloodbath. Having said that, most of the names mentioned have issued statements claiming they didn't feel led of the Lord to run or didn't want to put their families through all the turmoil and mud slinging. And having seen just the early parts of the GOP primaries through three states, who could blame them?
Nevertheless, we have the candidates we have. With Santorum taking Iowa and Romney taking New Hampshire, Newt Gingrich's win in South Carolina saved his candidacy and propelled it to the top. At present, Gingrich is polling higher than Romney by nearly 5% for the first time since the middle of last year after getting in the race. Dr. Ron Paul saw decent numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire, but seems to be fading fast after a lackluster showing in South Carolina. Recent history has shown that the winner of South Carolina tends to win most of the Southern states. So who to support? That's the question.
Personally speaking, I was pulling for Mike Huckabee to run. I felt he had a tremendous chance to do something good. Knowing however that President Obama has a billion dollar campaign ready to roll out this election season, he along with the others mentioned earlier decided it was best for their families to sit this one out. Both he and Palin, as well as Christie, have been open to the possibility of being a VP candidate however. When neither Huckabee nor Palin got in the race, I turned my attention to Mitch Daniels. I didn't know a lot about him, but everything I kept finding impressed me. If you saw Gov. Daniels' speech last night in response to the President's State of the Union address, I'm sure you came away impressed as well. As one analyst said, Daniels spoke for a little more than 10 minutes and addressed the major problems in our country. The President spoke for 65 mins and never said a word about the unemployment numbers, healthcare, or preventing a new gas line to be run from Canada to Texas shutting out thousands of jobs across the heartland. And yet, Gov. Daniels decided not to run.
When I found out Newt was running, he was the one I chose to go with as my candidate. It's not because he's from Georgia, though that's not a bad thing. I've liked Newt all along due to his love for his country displayed in the many, many books he's written on our founding fathers, their faith, and our constitutional beginnings. The thing that scared me then however and still scares me a little now, is Newt's baggage. There's no secret, Gingrich made some terrible family choices in the past and ruined his marriages and hurt his family. That's certainly not something to be proud of and it's something he is certainly ashamed and embarrassed of without a doubt. Should he win the nomination, it will be the first time a man has held the highest office in the world and at the same time been in his third marriage. Yet, in many ways, should Newt win the presidency, his personal life may point to the redemption power of Jesus Christ more so than ever. Gingrich has been very up front about his past mistakes. He has sought forgiveness from the Lord and his family and has tried to make reparations where possible. It may just be that Gingrich may put on display in front of the world the power of redemption.
I supported Gingrich when he first began and I still do. He is a brilliant man with lots of knowledge and his debating skills are second to none. My personal belief is that should he be able to debate the President, it would be a laughing stock. I support Gingrich because he is completely pro-life and is completely for the sanctity of marriage and for a marriage amendment. I support him because of his desire to see a balanced budget amendment for our country to get our spending under control so my little girl doesn't grow up having to pay off other peoples' share of the pie. In my opinion, Gingrich brings us the constitutional conservative and religious right candidate that our country has needed for some time now.
As for the other candidates, I like Rick Santorum a lot. Should his poll numbers start rising, I would gladly vote for him. I don't really have any issues with his policies as he also is completely pro-life and supports the sanctity of marriage. He is also very much a constitutional conservative. However, I worry that he doesn't have the notoriety to win the election or the debating skills to combat Obama's smooth talking. I think he would make a great VP candidate to Mr. Gingrich and hope to see that transpire unless Huckabee wants to get involved.
As for Paul and Romney, one I will hold my nose and vote for and the other one I won't vote for regardless. I would hold my nose and vote for Dr. Paul should he win the nomination. He is pro-life and sanctity of marriage as well. He has a great domestic policy especially one that majors on the 10th amendment and states' rights. However, his foreign policy is a nightmare. While I may agree that we have had our military stretched too thin at times around the world, we cannot forget that our military around the world has guaranteed for the most part that we've fought our wars around the world and not at home. Ironically, President Obama promised an iron-clad alliance with Israel that would never be broken while he was president last night in his speech. Dr. Paul doesn't support our alliance with Israel and would prefer for us to abandon that part of the world. That is extremely dangerous. I've often felt that the day America turns her back on Israel, we will see judgment from God like we've never known.
As for Romney, there is no way I will vote for him. He cannot decide whether he is pro-life or pro-choice. He has flipped back and forth so many times he's in the middle. Even while running on a pro-life platform currently, his decisions to appoint pro-choice judges, write pro-choice funding laws, and give tax payer money in Massachusetts to pro-choice firms and practices is startling. I have never voted for a candidate that is pro-choice and I never will. It's a terrible travesty in our country and I don't want the blood on my hands. Romney has flipped back and forth between a liberal and a conservative so many times, it should be obvious that he's a chameleon. He will be whoever he needs to be to win an election. Add to the notion that Romney is a Mormon, which a false religion and a cult, and suddenly a man in his third marriage doesn't look so bad at all!
If we learned anything from the President's speech last night, we learned that he is still one of the best speech deliverers the White House has ever known. His eloquence and smoothness resounds. His interaction with congressmen and friends before and after the speech was endearing. I've said it before, I like Obama the man. I cannot however stand with Obama the President. Some would say you can't separate the two and that may be true. The man is the President. But last night President Obama gave one of his best speeches and drove a moderate, middle of the road approach to government. He said many things I and other conservatives liked. However, as we've seen before, the President is also very good at rhetoric. How much was true and how much was delivered to swing independent voters and undecideds to his side? Last night's speech proved that our GOP candidate must be someone who has the ability to match word for word, charm for charm, passion for passion, and fact for fact. For me, that candidate is Mr. Newt Gingrich. I hope you'll agree.