Tuesday, January 30, 2007

How Conservative a Republican Nominee?

It is interesting to see this early in the primary process how critical the issue of a candidate’s conservatism will factor into the eventual Republican nominee. We know from history that the Republican nominee has to be a conservative. But have times changed as to the degree of conservativeness needed to win the nomination?

By most polls, the top three Republican hopefuls are John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. A recent posting on the Race 4 2008 site is an example of these three candidates as the top three contenders, with Newt following in fourth place. So how conservative are the top three candidates?

McCain continues to be hit by the far right about his failure to strictly adhere to true conservative values. Giuliani may be a fiscal conservative but clearly his social values have to be called moderate at best. Clearly anyone would have to admit McCain is more conservative than Rudy. Then there is Mitt. Mitt continues to position himself as the true conservative but continues to get caught between his rhetoric and record. Whether that is the issue of bi-lingual education, or his tendency to flip-flop on issues that matter to conservatives.

Senator McCain’s primary criticism has been that he is not a true conservative. I for one believe he is and that his willingness to solve problems by reaching across the aisle should not be interpreted as his non-belief in conservative values. Rather, his willingness to compromise should be viewed as his political strength in the upcoming election. It is clear to me that the polls show that the people want someone who can solve problems and unite the country. Why else would Giuliani be running so high among the Republican candidates? McCain is the one candidate that has demonstrated his consistent conservative beliefs while being able to reach across the aisle and solve problems.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Lyons to Head McCain’s NH Exploratory Committee

Foster’s Daily Democrat (NH) published an article that Portsmouth Attorney John Lyons will be the leader of Sen. McCain's presidential exploratory committee in New Hampshire along with a position on McCain’s national education advisory council. Lyons has experience on the Portsmouth School Board and the NH State Board of Education.

In the article, Lyons uses the term “common sense conservatism" to describe McCain. A common thread and one this country needs to bring us together.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Governor Huntsman of Utah in Granite State for McCain

Governor Huntsman of Utah, a prominent McCain supporter, is in the Granite State this weekend representing McCain at several events. I had the opportunity to do an email interview with the Governor about his visit. I thank the Governor for his willingness to share his thoughts which I post below.

QUESTION: Mr. Governor, we are very proud of our White Mountains, but you live and work in the Rockies. Don't tell us you're here in New Hampshire to go skiing or sightseeing. Why the trip to the Granite State?
RESPONSE: Utah certainly is a land rich in beauty as is New Hampshire. I’m afraid I won’t be able to hit the slopes during my short visit here. My efforts this weekend are focused solely on representing Senator John McCain at a variety of events. I am looking forward to speaking with many people from New Hampshire about Senator McCain’s views and values.

QUESTION: Well, obviously we are thrilled to have you here and we're honored that you are part of the McCain team. What attracted you to Sen. McCain and his prospective candidacy for president?
RESPONSE: Senator McCain embodies many of the leadership and character traits America needs to help direct us in both domestic and international efforts. He is a strong world leader who has a vision for what this country has the potential to become in the years ahead.

QUESTION: And so your role on the exploratory committee is to gauge peoples' reactions to the idea of a McCain candidacy? What's the response been like?
RESPONSE: The responses have been very positive. Senator McCain is a war hero who is widely recognized for his service and sacrifice to the nation. In many ways, Senator McCain has given more in the way of service to this country than most others who have occupied leadership positions in our nation’s recent history. People respect and admire his selfless service to causes larger than simply one’s own.

QUESTION: What is the substance of the message you are delivering to Granite Staters this weekend?
RESPONSE: My message is simple: Senator McCain should join the 2008 presidential race. In Ronald Reagan fashion, he has the values and international leadership to put the pieces of this nation back together while strengthening our world-wide alliances.

QUESTION: Some have said that there is a void on the conservative wing of the party. But I look at Sen. McCain record and I see a guy who has been a consistent Reagan conservative from day one. Have conservatives been responding well to the exploratory effort?
RESPONSE: Conservatives have responded very positively. Senator McCain has long been a strong conservative especially in regards to fiscal issues. He has constantly opposed earmarks and been a proponent for a balanced budget.

QUESTION: John McCain is a Senator. But he really seems to resonate with people outside the beltway. Governors like you and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota have chose to serve as leaders of his committee. Is McCain unusual in the sense that he's an anti-Washington figure, even though he's in the senate?
RESPONSE: Senator McCain has always been able to express the will of the people. He has an exceptional ability to bridge the divide by reaching across the aisle to build bi-partisan consensus on issues that matter most.

QUESTION: There was some discussion a few weeks back that Utah might make a play to hold its primary earlier, closer to New Hampshire's. Has that gone anywhere?
RESPONSE: The West will play a significant role in the 2008 presidential election. Subsequently, there will be a Utah primary, in conjunction with other primaries held throughout the Intermountain West. Right now, Utah’s primary is scheduled for February 5, 2008.

Gov. Jon Huntsman, Thank you so much for answering our questions.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

McCain, the New Media and the Far Right

John McCain continues to get hit by the far right as not being a true conservative and by those into the ‘new media’ as not being up to the times. Patrick Hynes responded to the ‘new media’ concern very well in a posting on Townhall.com. Patrick does a good job detailing how McCain in fact is taking advantage of the new media and I suspect will continue to do as the campaign rolls into high gear.

While you are looking at Patrick’s posting, take a look at some of the comments. They scare me to death! After listening to the democratic response to President Bush’s State of the Union address last night, the last thing the Republican Party needs is a far right candidate to go against Hillary. Anyone who would rather see Hillary as President along with a democratic congress over John McCain is clearly an ideologue and not concerned about fixing the problems in this country. I have stated from my very first posting that I like John because he is a conservative and that “his integrity, honesty, and willingness to listen, coupled with his experience and realistic approach to problem solving” is what this country needs. McCain’s recent statement that he would rather lose an election than lose a war is a perfect example of his integrity and commitment to beliefs. It is unfortunate that some members of our party fail to see the benefit of compromise for the betterment of our country.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

McCain Picks Up More Endorsements

As we get closer to the official campaign season, Senator McCain has been actively picking up some very important endorsements. The Washington Post reports that McCain has picked up the endorsement of South Carolina’s House Speaker Bobby Harrell. South Carolina will be an important state primary and one that Mitt Romney has been active in.

In addition, The Business Journal of Phoenix is reporting that McCain has picked up a number of high profile business people that will most assuredly help in the fund raising efforts. That same article mentions that Mc Cain announced that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, vice chairman of the National Governors Association, will serve as a national co-chair for his 2008 presidential run.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Romney Hit Again for Flip-flop on Gun Ownership

In an article published on the UnionLeader.com, the Associated Press hit Romney again for discrepancies between his current campaign rhetoric and prior statements. This time it is the issue of gun control and the NRA. While touring a Florida gun show, Romney is quoted to have said he supported "the right of individuals to keep and bear arms as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution". The article then goes on to point out prior statements and actions made that in fact restricts gun ownership with gun control laws. Seems every statement Mitt is making is getting torn apart by flip-flopping prior statements and actions.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

McCain Gets Credit for His Authenticity

While Romney is getting hammered for his changing positions, Senator McCain continues to get positive comments about his authenticity. A recent posting by Ari Richter on the Primary Monitor Blog points this fact out. His comments about a Vanity Fair profile of McCain hits it right on the head. Whether you agree with John or not, you at least know where McCain stands. Isn’t this what we need in a President? I think this attribute will bode well for McCain in the primaries.

Mitt’s No New Tax Pledge Flip Flop

It’s been awhile since I last posted due to the holidays. Now that they are past and the candidate announcements begin, I look forward to lots of tidbits to share with you.

Today we see Mitt Romney is back in the news. Now that Mitt Romney is no longer Governor and clearly planning to run, the fun will start as we see him attempt to re-engineer himself to be more acceptable to conservatives. Recently Mitt took a no new taxes pledge. Interesting he did not take one while Governor. He is taking heat for the flip-flop. Two articles worth reading are Scott Helman of the Boston Globe and David Brody of CBN News. In Brody’s article he quotes Dr. Jerry Zandstra, President of the Pro-Life Federation of Michigan, as saying if this was his only flip flop Mitt could position it as seeing the way. Unfortunately Zandstra points out that it won’t be his only change of heart.

I’d love to debate Mitt and call him on these flip flops. But it will be just as much fun when he gets called on the campaign trail.