Andrew Nenow is a wine and viticulture sophomore and Mustang Daily conservative columnist.
Now in the second half of his presidential term, President Barack Obama should start worrying about whether or not he will have the support he had in 2008. President Obama has overseen a slight and gradual recovery of the economy, but many Americans are frustrated with his inability to live up to his campaign promises.
In 2012, Americans will be able to decide to either reside in another four years of Obama or seek a new candidate. With two major parties that may not suit our wants, who do we turn to for the next four years as conservatives?
Well take solace in the fact that three of the front-runners for the Republican Primary can be classified as conservatives. I will delve into these candidates and determine who has the best chance against the incumbent President.
First is Former Alaskan Governor and Vice President candidate Sarah Palin. When it comes to conservatism, the former governor is the prime example of being such. As a vocal leader of the grassroots movement known as the Tea Party, she has gained significant conservative support and will get a great deal of funding from this group.
Another positive aspect of Palin is her immense name recognition. Through a multitude of interviews and even a reality television show since her vice presidential candidacy, Palin has become a household name without the use of commercial advertising.
Unfortunately, this pro can also be considered her con. As she edged her way into the public eye, she has fallen victim to the television satire. Tina Fey began the wildfire that would incite Palin’s scrutiny with her impersonation on Saturday Night Live.
It may all be in good fun, but the fact of the matter is that her public image has been ruined as people that may not understand how politically sound she really is see her as a joke. Becoming president is all about image and Sarah Palin just does not have the image it takes anymore.
Next is former Governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. As a Fox News contributor, his views and intentions as president are worn on his sleeve for the largely conservative audience, but he may be the least conservative of these front-runners.
Although he has stated, “I’m the Republican that clearly, at this point, does better against Obama than any other Republican,” he doesn’t stand much of a chance against the Democratic incumbent. His time with Fox has really helped his popularity but he does not have nearly the fundraising abilities of other candidates; fundraising is everything in presidential campaigning.
In my opinion, the third front-runner for the primary is the man with the plan. The conservative that is ready and willing to do what it takes to get the United States back on track. The candidate that can go toe to toe with Obama, and win, is Mitt Romney.
The 63-year-old former Governor of Massachusetts got a taste of the presidential race back in 2008 in the Republican Primary but did not have much of a following at the time. After writing a couple of books and substantially picking up his number of appearances, his name is starting to ring a bell in the ears of Republicans and conservatives alike.
Romney’s strongest attribute is his understanding of a complex economy. As governor of Massachusetts, he was able to cut deficits and record substantial economic growth without increasing debt or even raising taxes. At this point in America’s recovery, Mitt Romney is just what the economy needs.
He has also made it obvious that getting Americans back to work is essential to him. When he took office, the state of Massachusetts was losing jobs at an alarming rate, but by the time he left office 60,000 new jobs were created. His experience is another essential factor as millions of Americans are suffering the hardships of unemployment.
Romney’s only disadvantage in my mind comes from his personal life, as he is openly Mormon. In no way am I saying that holding the beliefs of the Mormon Church is a disadvantage, but that it breaks a trend. It took 44 presidents to get the first non-Caucasian president and no president has ever been non-Christian or non-Catholic and people tend to be hesitant toward such change.
If people can overlook this fact and realize that what matters is Romney’s politics, he can offer the relief and stability Americans have been searching for. I believe in the stronger America, which Romney has to offer both conservatives and liberals alike.
This American could not be more excited for Romney to show this country what he can accomplish.