Here I will discuss candidates for public office.
I live in Mesa, Arizona, State Legislative District 19, U.S. House District 6, so I focus here on candidates who propose to represent me.
For Senator from Arizona, taking John Kyl's seat: I don't like Jeff Flake, because I don't think he has strong enough integrity.
Yes, Jeff is my representative, but here are two problems I have with Jeff Flake.
When he first ran for Congress in 2000, he pledged to limit himself to three terms. He is now in the middle of his sixth term. I was there at the Mountain View Tea Party on August 5, 2010 when he answered a question about that pledge. He brushed it off saying that he had changed his mind, and that if people didn't like it they could vote him out. That's not my idea of integrity. So any promise he makes, he reserves the right to change his mind - is that what we are to take away from this? That's not a promise. And about this idea that we can just vote him out, and that's the same as term limits. He knows very well how politics works. Would he be running for the Senate challenging John Kyl in the primary? Of course not. But John Kyl announces he is retiring, and the seat will be open, and candidates come out of the woodwork.
The second problem I have is that he's not a principled conservative. I have watched him field questions from principled conservatives, and his responses were what I would call "slithering." He tries to appear conservative, because his district, which includes Mesa and Gilbert, Arizona, is one of the most conservative in the country. But if he is elected to the Senate, I predict that he will moderate significantly more than he has already.
Yes, Jeff Flake has the endorsement of the Club for Growth and has a 100% rating with the American Conservative Union. But I've watched him carefully, and watched the timing of his switching votes. When the Club for Growth announces a position, he gets in line.
For Jeff Flake's seat in Congress, I have heard Kirk Adams speak and am confident he is a solid conservative. I'm waiting to see how the field shapes up.
Candidates from Other States
Stay tuned as this develops.
Orrin Hatch has been attacked as not being conservative enough, and I must admit that I have had those thoughts, too. But I heard him interviewed by Mark Levin and that interview changed my mind. Mark Levin reviewed some of his interactions with Senator Hatch behind the scenes, and I became convinced that Senator Hatch is a principled man of integrity, and I will support his re-election.
Lindsay Graham from South Carolina is probably about as deserving a retiree as the Senate has on the Republican side. Let me know which conservative is mounting a credible challenge to him and I'll bring out my checkbook.
Candidates for President, 2012
Heaven knows we need a great Republican candidate. We have a tremendous opportunity to turn this country around, and the biggest disaster would be to nominate another wimpy Republican who is trying to curry favor with the ruling class, like John McCain.
I have three qualities I am looking for in a Republican candidate.
Courage is something we absolutely need in a candidate this time around. They need to be unafraid to attack President Obama and his administration on all the damage they have done to this country.
Consistency is important to me. There is so much dissembling in politics. I look for evidence that a candidate truly believes what they are espousing. I see red flags all over the place with Rick Perry, and I don't trust the man. Maybe he is a principled conservative, maybe not. That's not good enough this time around.
And judgment is important. Do they say things that they later have to backtrack on? Or are they careful, measured, and thoughtful. I was initally impressed with Herman Cain, especially after his first debate performance. But his subsequent flubs in interviews on the Palestinian right of return, Muslims in government, and other things, reveal to me a lack of judgment. I'm particularly leery of candidates that try to champion specific and detailed programs like his Fair Tax proposal. To me that shows a lack of judgment. The President has little control over what finally comes out of Congress, so it seems ridiculous and a waste of time to be discussing detailed programs like that in a presidential campaign. Give me a candidate who campaigns on principles and, when asked about specifics, limits himself or herself to things he or she can directly control.
And that is one of the reasons I love Michele Bachmann as a candidate. I wrote on this website back in 2010 that I wondered why no one ever mentioned her as a potential candidate for president, as her grace under fire was so impressive. When I finally heard, earlier this year, that she was toying with the idea, I was excited.
As I have tried to dig out information about her, I have seen a lot of antagonism toward her from the Left, and they are fond of putting together lists like the YouTube video, "Michele Bachmann says the darndest things." I must say I have gone through a number of those attacks, and they haven't come up with a single flub of any substance that I have seen. They call it a gaffe when she said that she questions whether some members of Congress are actually anti-American. That's not a gaffe— that's courage. I have heard some of them gloat over enemy advances in the war in Iraq. To me, Congresswoman Bachmann has all the ingredients of a great American president—the courage, depth of convinction, and judgment.