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Finding North Without a Compass

A retired Army officer and retired Fortune 500 executive, Warren may be best known for making waves while serving on the Mequon Common Council and Ozaukee County Board. He's no longer an elected official, but he has plenty to say about local, state and national issues.

 

THE SHARRON ANGLE EFFECT

You remember Sharron Angle – probably the only person in Nevada who couldn’t defeat Harry Reid in his re-election campaign for U.S. Senate in 2010. She was the perfect Tea Party candidate, reflecting and supporting the far right wing section of their membership. Her problem was that she could not generate majority support from the Nevada electorate, who cluster in the middle of the political spectrum. I could cite another example in Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell who lost a Senate race in Delaware after polling indicated that the single Republican House member could have won in a walkover. Get the picture yet? Too many Republicans who support the Angles and O’Donnells of the world would rather lose an election than nominate a candidate who can win but doesn’t meet their no-compromise standards on far right wing issues.

As a relative political neophyte back in 1964 I observed the Republican Party nominate Barry Goldwater, the great conservative Senator from Arizona. Working with some Republican enthusiasts, I inquired of them as to why the Republicans would nominate a rigid conservative who didn’t appear able to compete against Lyndon Johnson. The answer was: "We don’t care whether he wins, but rather he supports our principles!" That response astounded me, but I dismissed it as an aberration until it happened again with the nomination of Bob Dole to oppose Bill Clinton’s re-election in 1996. The rationale of that Republican nomination appeared to be: "We know Bob can’t win, but we want to reward him for his past yeoman military and political service."

Now, we are approaching the 2012 presidential election with President Obama looking more and more vulnerable every day. The question I pose, is the Republican Party going to nominate a candidate who can win? One who has the experience and leadership qualities to address and solve the nation’s problems and will appeal to the moderate majority of American voters? American voters went on a binge in 2008, falling for a candidate with a gift for oratory but a background as a local community organizer, when the country needed an experienced executive.

So what does the Republican field offer at this time? Does Michelle Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite, offer any executive background or experience? No, but she does represent the far right agenda that brought stinging defeats to Goldwater, Dole, Angle and O’Donnell. How about Texas Governor Rick Perry? He has executive experience with a good record running Texas and enough right wing credentials to probably satisfy that constituency. The question before Republicans is: "Are American moderate voters ready for another Texas cowboy in the oval office?" My response is, not at this time!

With the American economy still in the tank, it is very feasible that during the 2012 campaign we might be facing another financial collapse per September 2008 when Lehman Brothers went under and AIG, Bank of American, CITI Corp, Wells Fargo, GM, Chrysler and a host of other firms had to be rescued by the Federal Government. If that should occur during the 2012 presidential campaign who would the Republicans want as their presidential standard bearer - an inexperienced congresswoman from Minnesota or a Texas cowboy governor? I think not!

That leaves a bevy of other candidates to consider, either declared or thinking about it - Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, et al. You can do your own analysis of each to determine as to whom best meets the requirements of appealing to moderate Americans and has the necessary background and experience to lead this great United States of America in its time of distress. But we he or she be the nominee? Hardly likely if history is any guide.

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