I watched Cain's surge and found I liked his business experience and blunt way of speaking. Plus that clip of him singing his pizza version of "Imagine" was clever. Then sexual bombs starting falling, and in an amazingly short time he was out of the picture. Politicians are human and they have their failings like the rest of us. Cain is no exception. Anyway, there were already signs that he might not be the best person for the job. And to really mix up my metaphors, I got off the Cain Train long before the sexual excrement hit the fan.
I felt a lot better about Gingrich's rise and seriously considered voting for him. He's very articulate, quick witted, and his comments usually seem grounded in history. But I've cooled down considerably regarding his chances, not because of his three marriages, but primarily because it seems clear that a lot of people in congress (Republicans) were not supportive of his candidacy and indicated that if he were the nominee he might crash and burn and bring others down with him. I liked his knowledge of history, but it seems his own political history might have contributed to his slide.
Paul, of course, has been there all along. I find him to be a decent man and some of his libertarian views appeal to me. I think his idea of basing foreign aid on support for the U.S. and its policies makes a certain amount of sense (with the caveat that other countries (i.e. China, Russia) could use their own aid to influence people in other countries against us and that might not be a good thing. But, I don't think his 19th century idea of an isolated America is possible, and his suggested military reductions are dangerous.
Santorum is the latest candidate to catch the wave. But I've never been attracted to him. He seems like a nice enough guy with a big family, but when I try to think of him as the nominee, something just doesn't click for me. There are things in his voting record that bother me, but my feeling here is much more subjective.
Romney's candidacy has not been subject to the same fluctuations. He's been the slow and steady tortoise to the others' anaerobic hares. He's experienced at organizing and running a campaign. He has executive experience as a governor. He's got successful business experience in spades. He has also has a beautiful family.
Romney is criticized for changing his mind on some issues (flip flopping), for being a Rhino, for being a Mormon, for being rich, etc. etc.
I don't know about you, but I've changed my mind on quite a few issues over my lifetime. I was a liberal Democrat and supported most of their ideas for many years. But slowly I came to the conclusion that I was looking at things the wrong way. I finally realized hat there was another perspective that made a lot more sense for the long term. I consider the fact that Romney has changed his mind on several issues a positive, not a negative. Where some people see his changes as political expediency, I see them as growth.
Romney is also called a Rhino, a Republican in name only. When someone says that she usually means (a) he's too close to the center of the political spectrum, and/or (b) he's more in tune with liberals on social issues.
Point two, Romney's Mormonism, his personal morality and ethics, in my view, put him on an even par with Santorum on social issues. I personally don't care if he's a Mormon or a Seventh Day Agnostic. What I do care about is his personal morality and his ethical standards. The life he's lived, his family, his service, all of that, tells me he's okay. He's not perfect, I'm sure. But I don't expect that. And I may or may not agree with him on every social issue. But those issues are not top priority with me (and I believe many other Americans) right now.
Point three, I personally think Romney is as conservative as any candidate running now. If you've ever been in an administrative position, you know that in order to make the organization work, to provide the service or to make the product, compromises have to be made. Remember, Romney was governor of one of the most liberal states in the union. He not only got elected as a Republican in that state, he got some things done. And as far as the health care issue, his plan was a state plan, not a national plan. And it did not involve mandates.
And as for the argument against Romney for being rich, I think it's nonsense. If you think about it, the argument really has it's roots in the socialistic/communistic assumption that individual wealth is itself unfair and evil. I'm on the capitalist side of that argument. I'm a proud capitalist (not necessarily a succesful one!) and I think this system best reflects human nature and simultaneously gives structure to human inclinations. All the attempts to create some kind of socialist or communist utopia have not eliminated poverty or imbalances in income. It just can't be done.
Finally, I'm glad Romney's rich. Would you rather have a guy who's already rich get elected, or someone who only has a modest income but comes out a rich man? (Both Clinton, for example, and his VP Gore come to mind.) I think Romney won't be distracted by pursuing his own agenda and cutting a lot of deals as president to pad his pockets for the post presidency. He doesn't have to.
I understand that he might use his position to protect his wealth, but I think his personal ethics would work against that. Still, should he waver, such policies that follow from "protecting his wealth" might ultimately do all of us some good.
I sincerely believe that Mitt Romney and his team can lead America out of the financial crisis that we're in and restore our faith in our country. I think he will generate jobs and growth by having a sound energy policy that involves building the Keystone pipeline and opening up exploration and drilling for oil on and off shore. I believe he will take the necessary steps to cut back the size of government, deal with the looming entitlement crisis, and put us on the road to a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility.
Under President Romney, I don't think there will be any World Apology Tours. I think he will clear up and establish consistency in our currently muddled and inconsistent foreign policy. I also believe that he will use the might of U.S. military to protect and defend American interests here and abroad.
That's my two cents worth. Now, I've gotta go down to the polling place and do my duty as an American citizen. By voting, I have some say in governmental affairs. Every American has a right to speak his/her mind about political issues. But the act of voting, I think, gives me a little more authority if I want to support or complain about what's coming out of D. C. or the TN state legislature.