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The GOP presidential field & “this extraordinary moment”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:36 am - December 28, 2011.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

In a comment to my post on the possibility of a Ron Paul victory in Iowa, our reader davinci expressed his grudging backing of a certain candidate:

I was undecided for much of the year, then went with Gingrich for about a month. But as a history prof, he should know better than to pressure and intimidate federal judges he disagrees with. That showed his lack of a constitutional grounding, and now I grudgingly am with Romney. I hope if he’s elected that he will at least pursue a moderate conservative agenda. But that may be too much to ask of him.

If the field remains as is it has been, with only the announced candidates, then, I, like our reader had been until recently, remain undecided. Like many voters in Iowa, I’m frustrated by my inability to find a candidate who “seems ready for this extraordinary moment.”  (Via Jennifer Rubin.)  At least I have a few more months to make up my mind.

Now, to be sure, some conservatives, like my friend John Hinderaker contend that Mitt Romney is ready to confront the challenges facing this country.  (Via Glenn Reynolds who also links John Hawkins‘s critique of the candidate.)  In his endorsement, that Minnesota blogger left out one of the former Massachusetts governor’s key accomplishments:  his management of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

In the wake of a bribery scandal, Romney was tapped to take over the Games “which had faced serious potential financial difficulties before his arrival” and turned things around.  (Despite the difficulty of his task, I could find no evidence Romney whined about the crisis he “inherited” from the original Olympic management team.)  Yes, he has administrative expertise, but he has not shown a longstanding commitment to conservative principles.

Like Bill Kristol, I wish some candidates “who have stood aside” would reconsider that decision and, for the sake of the country, “step forward”.  The crises we face as a nation are great, and the incumbent seems oblivious to their magnitude.   (more…)