The eyes of America and the world will be on Fox News and Sioux City, IA, tonight. This is a big deal for our region and community as we hope those who are objectively viewing the Presidential Debate at our convention center will sense the passion and intensity of voters in Iowa and the Plains. The ground is still shifting here with about 10% still undecided and fully a third "leaning" one way or another but not commited to anyone. Next week, a lot of that is going to change, but we may not know until January 3 how things might shake out. Rather than the conventional wisdom that Iowa launches campaigns, we will likely see as many as five candidates do well enough to keep in the fray for at least the next two primaries. This is all good.
I have begun to settle on someone, though I am not quite ready to announce who that might be. However, I can tell you who I will not be supporting. That list seems to get a little longer each week. Let me be clear, though, that whoever gets the nomination will have this pitbull of a campaigner doing all I can to help out.
I will not be able to support Jon Huntsman in the caucus. He has not been to Iowa to campaign and he worked for Obama. Both of those are reasons to drop him off my list. I will not support Mitt Romney in the caucus. He is too comfortable with big government. I will not support Rick Perry in the caucus. He may be a good governor in Texas, but he cannot deliver on some of the comments he is making in his ads. A governor cannot create a path to citizenship, and the President cannot cut Congressional pay, limit the time Congress meets or repeal the healthcare bill without Congress offering him a bill that allows that.
There is one candidate that I think makes me uneasy, and that is Ron Paul. I honestly believe that Congressman Paul's foreign policy and national defense positions are dangerous and, in the long run, will make America less secure. I worry this because my children are in the military and I worry a Commander in Chief who thinks as Paul does would embolden our enemies. We would have to fight too many battles on our own turf. Congress Paul's approach would erode our strategic depth, thus allowing our enemies to get much closer to the nation before they strike.
Another factor that concerns me about Congressman Paul is his desire to do away with the Federal Reserve system. As flawed as this system may be, a national banking system and an independent agency to monitor our financial system is necessary in today's economy. I have not heard any solutions out of Congressman Paul that make any sense economically. Ron Paul is not a conservative by any stretch, so I cannot support him at all in the caucus process.
The two most conservative candidates in the field are Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. The smartest candidate is Newt Gingrich. I am a conservative before I am a republican.
Keep in mind that all the people on the stage tonight would be far better than the person currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the District. For that, we can be eternally grateful. More later in the next few days.
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