By Joe Carbonari
Mitt Romney is probably, definitely not running for president again. Good. When you are uncomfortable with yourself you tend to make bad decisions under pressure. Not a good trait in a president.
It seemed Jeb Bush would be the biggest beneficiary of Romney’s withdrawal, but Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, is gaining a bit of a following that would include significant bits of Jeb Bush’s presumed “establishment” base. Walker shows no sign of low self-esteem. He may be a bit brash, but his seemingly straight-forward approach is engaging. Interestingly, he has spoken well of Marco Rubio more than once. There’s a pair that could develop some enthusiasm and draw some Latino votes.
If the eventual candidate put up in 2016 by the Republican Party is more a pragmatist than an ideologue, the country will benefit and so will the party. The same holds true for the Democrats.
This will require the attention of more of our best and our brightest to politics. Issues are complex; temptations abound. The winners and losers are real people and many in number. They are us. If we, together, wish to have good, effective, fair governance, we will have to give the system more of our best. Politics is how we rule ourselves. It is our freedom. Help the cause; join the game.
By Tim Baldwin
Mitt Romney announced he will not be running for president in 2016, but there are other establishment Republicans to replace him. If the 2014 elections were any indication, however, an establishment Republican will not prevail over a well-known Democrat in 2016.
Most Republicans know they need a new face, or at least, a face lift. But the nature of the divisions in the Republican Party is philosophical, not aesthetics. This is why Rand Paul not only threatens the power of the establishment but also represents a very different future for the Republican Party.
Paul connects well with a varied constituency. For example, Paul advocates criminal justice reform; opposes NSA spying; prefers non-interventionism; and considers individual property rights in the Keystone Pipeline debate. He supports gun rights, unborn children’s rights, and Federalism. As acknowledged by Democrat strategists, Paul could realistically win a general presidential election because many democrats and libertarians will vote for him but would never vote for, say, Jeb Bush or Scott Walker.
Paul is correct when he said about Romney, he’s “yesterday’s news.” The challenge will be between Paul and the establishment candidate. Radio talk show hosts, such as Hannity, Limbaugh, and Ingram, show favor to any GOP candidate besides Paul. For many people, this is an omen that Paul is the right candidate to direct the GOP future. For now, say bye, bye to Romney.
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