I was watching MSNBC yesterday, as is my wont, and they flashed some polling results up for our consideration. It was a listing of things that concerned potential voters about potential GOP presidential candidates. The areas of concern included such pressing issues as “Being a Former Speaker of the House”, “Having Multiple Past Marriages” and “Being Mormon.”
Um, what? What kind of poll comes right out and asks “What bugs you more in a potential president? A guy who keeps walking down the aisle or a Mormon?”
Since when is being a former Speaker of the House – third in line to the Presidency and a leader of the party’s agenda – a draw-back? Newt Gingrich was a force in fundraising, a master of electoral success and he ushered in Congressional control for his party. He was instrumental in balancing the Federal budget that one time that Congress managed to do that. He presided over the House during the prosperous years when when we were all getting rich off dotcom stocks. So he can’t stick with a marriage? That’s between him and the women he marries.
Mitt Romney helped create the closest thing we have to universal health care in this country when he was Governor of Massachusetts. You may or may not like that about his record (he doesn’t seem real proud of it right now) but it’s more significant than where he prays on Sunday morning.
Today MSNBC is blabbing on and on about Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels who may jump into the race. I heard him on NPR the other day and he sounded funny and personable and smart. The kind of candidate who makes Dems like me say “Uh-oh”. But MSNBC isn’t talking about the funny or the smart. They’re talking about how his wife divorced him for a few years then married him again later. The man was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He probably knows more about how federal agencies function than anyone else in the GOP field and people are worried about his relationship with his wife? Really? REALLY?
There are a lot of good reasons to vote for or against any of the GOP candidates running or rumored to be running for President in 2012. They’re all anti-choice, small-government, anti-tax, pro-big-business conservatives. Or they’re Ron Paul. Talking about who they married when or what religion they practice is a distraction from the fact that they are real politicians with real records that need to be examined thoroughly and carefully. Everything else is just gossip.