I really didn't have an answer when my wife asked who she should vote for in the Michigan Presidential Primary on Jan. 15. That was a first for me.
During my lifetime I have been asked that question hundreds of times because of my firmly-held opinions and my efforts to stay informed. I've always had an answer where some candidate would stand out and would be deserving of support.
That's not the case this year. During the past year I've looked carefully at each of the Republican candidates, my usual flavor, and I even looked at the Democrats to see if the time had come to cross the rubicon. Nobody jumped up on my radar.
Super-spouse said maybe she just won't vote. Umm . . . I'm not really comfortable with that either.
My dilemma could be resolved by making a new candidate from the existing pool. Here are the parts of each candidate that interest me:
- John McCain's knowledge and experience with the U.S. Congress. Any president who wants to be successful needs to have firsthand knowledge of the House and Senate. The president needs to appreciate their role and needs to be able to help lead them to a consensus on the major issues.
- Fred Thompson's folksy manner. He reminds me of Ronald Reagan with a unique ability to communicate in a way that's understandable and believable. He's John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart all wrapped up in one package.
- Mitt Romney's devotion to family and to personal principle. I'm intrigued by this guy. He seems devoted to his wife and his family. I really admire that. I listened to his speech on religious liberty and his reliance on his deeply held beliefs. That seemed to connect with me.
- Ron Paul's consistency in what he says. Time magazine says that Paul hasn't changed the basic details of his stump speech in more than three decades. Part of that appeals to me.
- Joe Biden's sense of humor. He seems to be able to laugh at himself. He's not wound too tight.
- John Edwards emphasis on the poor. Too many candidates are not talking about what seems to be the growing divide between the haves and have-nots. He is.
- Hillary Clinton's ability to wheel and deal. She learned from her husband how to push the levers of power in government. That kind of knowledge is critical. A president has to know how to change large institutions that don't want to change.
- Mike Huckabee's ability to lead public prayer. He reminds me of some Baptist friends who can pray at the drop of a hat. That quality will be needed. However, our culture is more diverse. It would be easy to offend.
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