The Races, Presidentially

I see Huckabee has picked up a couple of endorsements lately: one from Chuck Norris, one from Ric Flair.

The Norris endorsement is one to be proud of.  Personally, I’d be more embarrassed by the Ric Flair endorsement, but I’m not a politician. Or a wrestling fan, obviously.

I’d like to like Huckabee, but I wonder sometimes if he’s just Jimmy Carter 2.0.  Jimmy Carter really sold himself as a devout Southern Baptist and a Sunday School teacher, and maybe he was all that and then some.  But he was NOT what many people thought he was when they were voting for him.  That is, voters familiar with Southern Baptist values might have anticipated a devout Southern Baptist would be strongly patriotic, staunchly anti-Communist, steadfastly pro-Israel, and stoutly pro-life.  And many conservative Christians felt comfortable voting for Carter, not realizing what his real positions would be.

Instead, he proclaimed himself to be the “Human Rights” President, but only when it came to snubbing political friends and allies.  When it came to the truly vicious regimes, it was aptly said of Carter that he “never met a dictator he didn’t like.”  In colossally foolish fashion, he co-operated at every step with the Soviets, even sending them wheat at bargain prices, effectively propping up their failing economy, and only when they invaded Afghanistan did he ever seem to realize he’d been had.  Abortion might have concerned many conservative Christians, but it never seemed to bother Carter at all.  His Israel policy was to pressure Israel and beg Palestine  He did get a diplomatic triumph at Camp David, but it was illusory at best in terms of any actual progress.

It may be unfair to compare Huckabee to Carter, but it seems clear that he doesn’t exactly mind raising taxes, or growing the size of government.  He’s conservative compared to Guliani, but he doesn’t seem to be a fiscal conservative.

I do like Fred Thompson, although liking him may not be enough.  But he’s the only one who seems able to explain/defend/persuade his policy so far.  Frankly, if Bush were able to communicate as well as Fred Thompson, his approval ratings would probably be in the high 50’s right now.

Mitt Romney seems to be an excellent manager and businessman, and a decent politician.  But he seems too slick and plastic to be genuine, which is why I don’t say he’s more than a decent politician.  If he were really good, he’d seem more sincere.  Can anyone really pin down what exactly Mitt Romney believes?  Beside believing he should be President?

Guliani, on the other hand, is someone I really shouldn’t like at all.  He epitomizes New York, complete with arrogance, ruthlessness, ambition, and two failed marriages.  These are not selling points for most of America.  Plus, he’s by far the most liberal candidate in the Republican race.

But he did do outstanding work in making New York City a place worth living in, cleaning up much of the mob as a federal prosecutor, and you absolutely have to give him credit for being honest about where he stands.  Besides, anyone who would hand back a check for$75 million from a Saudi prince rather than accept a lecture about how perhaps 9/11 was really our fault earns HUGE points in my book.

That was one of the central problems with Jimmy Carter: you never felt like he was proud of our country, but more that he felt the need to apologize for it.   Carter would have taken the check and promised to start a new program to educate us about our faults as a nation.  Guliani was a better man than to crawl that way.

I’m personally still undecided which candidate to vote for (It’s still early, folks!) , but whoever it is will not be ashamed of who he is, or of the country he is asking to vote him into office.

And it sure won’t be another Jimmy Carter, the worst president of the 20th century.  But I’m repeating myself….

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