The GOP’s Search for Perfection

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In 1980, the GOP field included Ronald Reagan, the former governor of California who had previously challenged a sitting president from his own party, earned the grudging respect of party faithful and finally convinced his party to change direction after almost a decade of spadework; George H.W. Bush, a former CIA director, ambassador to the UN, envoy to China, congressman and decorated war hero; Howard Baker, the Senate Minority Leader; Bob Dole, another longtime senator and decorated hero of World War II; and John Connally, the former Democratic governor of Texas who had served as Secretary of the Navy under Kennedy and Secretary of the Treasury under Nixon.

The 1988 field included Bush, who, by that time, had added vice president to his gaudy resume; Dole; Al Haig, whose tours in government included Secretary of State and White House chief of staff, and whose military biography included Supreme Commander of NATO and veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars; Jack Kemp, the well-known congressman who was arguably the most articulate and ardent exponent of supply-side economics and free markets in Congress; and Pete DuPont, a former congressman and governor.

In 1996, the GOP field featured Dole; Lamar Alexander, popular governor of Tennessee and chair of the National Governors Association; Richard Lugar, longtime senator and seasoned foreign policy sage; Phil Gramm, long-serving congressman and senator; Steve Forbes, the flat-tax advocate and presidentially-appointed chairman of the Board for International Broadcasting; Pat Buchanan, advisor to three presidents; and Alan Keyes, a longtime foreign service officer and ambassador.

Along with Keyes and Forbes, the 2000 field featured George W. Bush, the popular Texas governor; John McCain, longtime senator and Vietnam War hero; and Orrin Hatch, longtime senator and nationally recognized expert on the federal judiciary.

The 2008 field included McCain; Romney; Rudy Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor and the most recognizable mayor in American history; Fred Thompson, former senator, special counsel to numerous congressional committees dating back to Watergate and a well-known actor; and Mike Huckabee, governor of Arkansas.

In a word, it just doesn’t seem the 2012 field in its totality stacks up, which helps explain some of the dissatisfaction among GOP voters on the eve of the primaries.

However, every candidate has flaws, and most have personal or political baggage: the younger Bush had a checkered past and a thin record as governor; the elder Bush was a Beltway insider, a consummate establishment Republican who had “evolved” into conservative principles; even the sainted Reagan raised taxes in California and increased spending in the state by 177 percent.

Yet each of those men won the presidency. In other words, a strong, winning candidate can emerge from this field, but only if GOPers keep in mind that there’s no such thing as the perfect candidate—and never has been.

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  • Alexander Gofen

    GOP is merely a department of the one party system designated to play a role of the "rights" in the blame game of placating the low life. GOP are designated to serve a fake background for the remaining leftist department and the one world crowd. And so they do.

    For decades GOP has not raised even one issue critical for the survival of this Constitutional Republics. On the contrary: every issue of the survival is a strict taboo for GOP:

    The Newspeech-alike title inviting to "not search for perfection" in GOP translates into "Don't even think about the real issues. Stay duped in this 2-party foul game forever".

    GOP and Dems are two departments of a criminal enterprise which must be dismantled and thrown out into a dustbin. They are a criminal party guilty in the 2008 coup. They are attempting to repeat the same act of treason allowing the impostor and fraud Obama/Soetoro to re-appear in the ballot.

    We must not allow it to happen. Watch the unfolding drama in New Hampshire and 3 more States ( ).

    Do it to us once – we were lazy fools.

    Do it to us twice – we are cowards not worth of having a nation.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The leading names in today’s field include Romney, whose resume is certainly of presidential caliber but whose record of “evolving” on key issues—health care and abortion top the list—is unsettling to GOP conservatives.

    Actually, Romney's record of evolving on key issues was addressed over and over again ad nauseum in the 2008 campaign and again in the 2012 campaign. In fact, exactly like Reagan did and indeed like most conservatives did as well, as Romney grew older and wiser he naturally flipped to more conservative positions. But unlike Gingrich who has flip flopped between conservative and liberal and conservative and liberal positions so many time it will make your head spin and literally make you sea sick, Romney once flipped has never flopped back to more liberal positions.

    In addition, each time Romney flipped to more conservative positions because he was the governor of the very liberal state of Massachusetts, liberals saw it as a betrayal and a stab in the back. Thus, especially liberals today vilify and demonize Romney as being a slippery flip flopper. While RINO establishment Republicans have also conveniently jumped on that bandwagon to demonize Romney as a convenient flip flopper..

    Nevertheless, because Romney is a Mormon, many people, especially in the south, are having a very hard time supporting a Mormon, despite Romney being a very solid conservative relative to the other candidates in the field. However, they can't admit it without revealing at the same time that they are bigoted. Thus, they cite the same old tired objections that have haunted Romney forever over and over again, even though Romney has successfully addressed all those issues time and time again ad nauseum, both in the 2008 debates and the 2012 debates. Meanwhile, Fox News continues to play along with this ploy by never showing video clips of Romney successfully addressing all those issues during the debates.

    In addition, Fox News has been deliberately misrepresenting Romney as being a moderate relative to the other Republican Party candidates instead of a conservative for months, and never mind the fact that Romney became the conservative's candidate of choice in 2008.

    Last week they even presented a video of Romney from 2007 out of context to make it seem like he supported amnesty back then to imply that Romney had just recently flip flopped and conveniently changed his stance on the issue of amnesty to being anti-Amnesty in order to counter Gingrich's more liberal pro Amnesty position. Of course, this was in keeping with their agenda of trying to portray Romney as a moderate and a disingenuous convenient flip flopper. Nevertheless, anyone can easily go back and watch the 2008 debates online to confirm that Romney was adamantly anti-Amnesty in the 2008 campaign as well. Apparently, Fox News has so little respect for its viewers that they don't believe their viewers can remember anything that happened more than a week ago.

    Meanwhile, in 2008 Fox News lifted up John McCain's broke campaign from the dead because he was a longtime professional career politician, Washington insider, and loyal RINO establishment Republican Party has-been and amnesty supporter, and in 2012 Fox News is again lifting up Newt Gingrich's broke campaign from the dead because like John McCain, Gingrich is also a longtime professional career politician, Washington insider, and loyal RINO establishment Republican Party has-been and amnesty supporter.

    Nevertheless, should the over the hill has-been Gingrich win the nomination in 2012, Obama will inevitably win another major landslide victory, exactly like when he defeated the over the hill has-been John McCain. Only this time it will be a bigger landslide victory because Gingrich carries with him far more excess baggage that McCain ever did.

    Indeed, because Fox News is the official RINO establishment Republican Party news network, like the RINO establishment Republican Party, it supports throwing the conservative base under the bus and the abandonment of their core conservative principles and values in favor of pandering to liberal Hispanic voters because Hispanics are projected to eventually become the largest demographic later on this century. Hence, Fox News will attack any and all candidates for president that don't support amnesty, should they look like they have a decent chance of winning the nomination. Indeed, if Michelle Bachman's support suddenly skyrocketed to match Gingrich's, like Romney she would also face Fox News' wrath.

    –continue below

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Anyway, I'm tired of Fox News' interference by picking our nominees for us. It's time for them to back off. In fact, I have no more respect for Fox News than I have for the MSM, as they both have agendas and both agendas are anti-conservative and very liberal.

    Indeed, it's not like I'm proud to support Romney, because when it comes to foreign policy, national security, national defense, and Islam, he is a leftwing loon exactly like all other Republican Party candidates that tow the Republican Party line. However, at least Romney doesn't support pandering to liberal Hispanic voters in favor of dumping conservative core principles and values together with conservative voters under the bus.

    Hence, given the choice between Romney, who by no means is perfect or nearly conservative enough, and an amnesty supporting flip flopping career politician and has-been like Gingrich, if you are a true conservative it's a no brainer, support Romney. However, if on the other hand, you are a liberal RINO establishment Republican that supports abandoning core conservative principles and values and conservative voters in favor of pandering to liberal Hispanic voters because they will become the largest demographic sometime in the future, then vote for that amnesty supporting career politician and has-been Gingrich. It's not like there is much other choice.

    As a matter of fact, if Gingrich wins the nomination, this voter is sitting home on Super Tuesday 2012, exactly like I did on Super Tuesday 2008 when amnesty supporting has-been McCain won the nomination,. Indeed, I'm not going to vote for anyone that supports abandoning core conservative principles and values and conservative voters in favor of pandering to liberal Hispanic voters. Hell, I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid.

  • Guy Fawkes

    Frankly, the clown car has more gravitas than this crop. Muncie, IN will be the Waterloo for Willard the Job-Eating Rat — he has no clue as to how to create jobs. And he is the pick of the litter….

    Herman Cain is this cycle's Gary Hart. Newt is everything that could possibly be wrong with Washington. Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry make you long for the erudition of Sarah Palin — at least, Sarah knows enough to write notes on her hand. Rick Santorum makes analube seem even more disgusting, and one of the only two adults in the room is facing senility. And just when you thought you were safe from this serial insanity, the Donald shows up with his own brand of terribly-coiffed crazy.

    I even miss Fonzie jumping the shark….