• 45°

Republican field looks to be all set

With the decisions by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and ex-Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin not to run for president, most pundits now believe the Republican presidential field is now complete. Among the announced candidates may well be our next president.

Certainly whoever the Republican candidate is will be the presumed frontrunner against President Barack Obama given the economic state of the nation.

Traditionally voters vote against incumbents when the economy is in trouble. And there is every indication voters will vote against incumbent congress people as well, since congress, particularly Republicans, have never been less popular.

Through the debates and their campaigning we are getting more and more familiar with each of these candidates, familiar enough to begin to make some assumptions certainly about the current frontrunners.

Mitt Romney is the current frontrunner, but certainly not because the party loves him.

Like many Republicans before him, Romney changed his views on abortion to reflect the Republican’s strong anti-abortion plank. But among religious conservatives, there are concerns about the conviction Romney has on this issue.

And then there is the problem of what conservatives have labeled “Romney care.” As a one term governor of Massachusetts Romney succeeded in creating a state-wide healthcare program that became a model for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2009 by the then-Democratic congress. The program has been largely successful insuring almost all citizens and contributing to one of the healthiest populations of any state.

In children’s healthcare Massachusetts is ranked number one by the Commonwealth Fund.

You might think the success of the Massachusetts program would be a benefit to Romney, but, unfortunately, in the current composition of the Republican Party the success is a negative because it suggests the ACA may offer the same success.

That is unacceptable to the party that hates all things Obama.

And of course Mitt is reputed to be the most dull campaigner and inept personal contact candidate in the field.

Rick Perry has fallen in the polls since his first three debates suggested he may not be ready for prime time. Too often Perry seemed tired, confused and inarticulate in the debates.

Additionally, Republican voters are not supportive of Perry’s stance on immigration resulting in offering illegals in-state college tuition in Texas.

Outside of the Republican Party, Perry’s claim that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme has concerned many voters, as the program is the most popular government program currently.

But Perry is an incredible fund-raiser, and that may help him overcome any and all of his shortcomings in a presidential race that may be “media managed” right up to Election Day.

Finally, the newest front runner is Herman Cain, an accomplished businessman who has improved in the polls with the smallest campaign staff. Cain early on seemed to embrace sanctioned religious discrimination by stating he would not allow a Muslim in his administration.

More recently he told a group of protesters if they did not find jobs and were not rich, that was their own fault. Mr. Cain seems exciting in the Bachmann sense — that is his next statement might open new and interesting perceptions of his convictions.

One of these three could well be elected president in 2012.

But if you like Social Security and want to have Medicare continue to exist in any way similar to its current form…then none of these men will represent your interests.

Much may change; the election remains a future away. But America needs leadership that reflects the will of the people whether that is President Obama, one of these three, or someone as yet unnamed.

Jim Crawford is retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.