"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Lincoln Dinner- Meet The Candidates

>> Monday, April 16, 2007

First I want to post this disclaimer - what you are about to read are my thoughts on the candidates. Don't threaten to take away my internet if you don't like it.

First to speak was Rudy Giuliani. He is fiscally conservative and has a great record as mayor for decreasing crime in New York. The man may put an R after his name but his personal life has too many skeletons for all but the most moderate conservative voter. He didn't mention the abortion issue, which seemed to be a major point with most of the candidates, but I believe he is pro-choice.

I like Rudy and respect, very much, what he did in New York and how he handled the 9/11 attacks on his city. But I really view him as the "rock star" of the Republican party- he'll bring in an audience.

Next was Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. I actually heard Mitt speak at the Reagan Dinner in 2004 and was very impressed with him then. And I really like his stance on education. I think he's a strong candidate who appeals to a lot of people.

Many people are bringing up his "used to be pro-choice but is now pro-life" stance. I actually heard him explain this recently. In the 60's a close family friend of his died during an illegal abortion. At that time, for that reason, he became pro-choice. Recently he was at Harvard University discussing stem cell research. He was told about the the cells being brought together to form an embryo, allowed to grow, the stem cells removed and then the embryo was "discarded". Hearing it put so emotionlessly, so frankly, and the fact that life had begun and the cells were growing and forming and then so easily destroyed made him re-evaluate his position. I respect his answer and believe it's the truth. I know many people, myself included, who have had a change of ideas on this issue.

Unfortunately he supported and signed that state-wide health care thing in Massachusetts. I don't support a socialized health care system. That is really my only issue with Mitt.

Funny note: there were protestors outside the convention complex. A fuzzy bunny and a dolphin. They were both protesting Mitt Romney. I couldn't make out the bunny's sign but the dolphin said something about "flip flopping".

Congressman Duncan Hunter was supposed to speak next. He was unable to make it. His commercial flight was cancelled and the private jet that was arranged for him had engine trouble and was not able to fly. I don't know much about him other than what is on his website. He's a Republican from California.

John Cox was next. A businessman from Chicago, he was actually the first Republican to officially enter the 2008 race. You don't hear much about him because he A) isn't in office now and B) has no real chance of winning. Which is too bad. I've had the opportunity to meet John a few times and I really think a common sense business-like approach is what we need in Washington. And I really hope that whoever does win the nomination puts this guy somewhere in their cabinet.

John is really pushing for "we the people" to take back our government and demand principles, fiscal discipline and more effective government. Those are some ideas I can support.

The final speaker before dinner was Governor Mike Huckabee from Arkansas. He's very conservative but Doug really felt that he was an advocate of socialized health care. He is a big believer in the Bush tax cuts becoming permanent and cut taxes and fees more than 90 times when he was Governor of Arkansas.

I'm all about lower taxes and liked the speech but I don't think Huckabee is the man for the job.

Whew! A short break for dinner. Salad, new veggies, potatoes and turkey breast. Not fabulous. Never is.

And now, back to the speeches.

Congressman Tom Tancredo from Colorado was next. Another candidate I have heard before and had a chance to meet. He is strong on illegal immigration; has built his platform on it. And while I agree with him I think he is too harsh for a lot of people.

His speech had a great line, though. "...it's tough when your enemies are psychopaths and allies are the French."

Governor Jim Gilmore from Virginia followed. I've met Governor Gilmore on a few occasions and have found him to be a very firm candidate. Unfortunately he seemed very mean-spirited saying, what has now been played on every news station, "Don't bee fooled by people who come to you lately and say they are conservatives. I can assure you Rudy McRomney is not a conservative, and he knows he's not a conservative." Ouch.

Jim, I had so much respect for you... until that.

Senator Sam Brownback followed. From Kansas he took Bob Dole's seat. This guy is probably the most conservative of the bunch. And someone I had never heard of. And I have to say that I am really impressed. He took a big stance on tax reform, wheeling out a stack of books and binders about 2 1/2 feet tall that make up our tax code.

With a strong focus on family values, good manners and courtesy I really think this guy can be trusted. I know... Trust. Hunh, who would've thunk it. He's very uplifting. Here's a quote, "We need a culture that does not corrode and does not corrupt but one that uplifts and affirms in order to encourage goodness so we might continue our greatness."


And next, Tommy Thompson from Wisconsin. Although I know of Governor Thompson I really didn't give him much thought. After hearing him I really think he is a strong candidate. Citing the education reform he put in place in Wisconsin that lowered drop out rates by 90% and his "Welfare Works" program that became a national model for welfare reform I really thought "this guy gets it". He really believes in giving people a chance, be it through school choice or job training.

And he finished with an Irish prayer. I'm a sucker for an Irish prayer.

And, finally, Senator John McCain. I have immense respect for Senator McCain. I thank him for his sacrifices to our country during the Vietnam War. I hold him in the highest regard.

He was the only speaker to roam the stage and talked to the audience as "friends". He's incredibly likeable. And intelligent. And funny.

And not the guy. I like him, but he's not the guy.

On our way out we were handed a card for another candidate,
Daniel Gilbert. I've not heard of this guy but we were told by his representative that he won't collect a paycheck; he just wants to reform government. I like what he says on his website- especially about Foreign Aid and reform. Lots of common sense; probably no chance of even gaining national recognition. He's truly grassroots and is looking for other people to run for seats in state and local governments to form a conservative government.

So there you have it... My thoughts and feelings. The good, the bad and the unfortunate.


Stephen 9:18 PM  

On John Cox, let me add to your list. You say " A) isn't in office now and B) has no real chance of winning."

C) He has raised less than three thousand dollars in the first quarter of 2007. He has no supporters.

D) His campaign staff are jumping ship. He's on his FOURTH campaign manager, he's lost a dozen or more state chairs in the last 3 months.

Nice that you, and Iowa's GOP, included him, but sorry, he's about as viable as the Daniel Gilbert you met, or other no-names.

Anita 5:38 AM  

Fascinating stuff. Sad to say that some of these folks I've not even heard of. So far, I'm in Guiliani's camp - - he reflects my views very well; fiscally conservative, socially liberal. Love him.

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