Sunday, April 01, 2007

Choice C for President

The April Fools joke on us is the attempted coronation by the media and establishments types of our next president about 3 months away from the Iowa Straw Poll, and 10 months before the first primary and caucuses.

If you listen to "conventional wisdom", the establishment, and "big media," the choices are as follows. If you are a Republican, "Maverick" John McCain, "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney (more in Michigan) with occasional talk of Newt Gingrich (who hasn't declared). If you are a democrat, "The inevitable nominee" Hillary Clinton and "Rock star" Barack Obama, with occasional talk of John Edwards. As most know, I'm not sold on any of them. The other candidates supposedly "can't win." Ronald Reagan couldn't win either in 1980. For that matter, John Kerry was "the electable" candidate, as was Bob Dole for that matter.

The bottom line is that we have more choices than those we hear about in "big media" and from the establishment. On the GOP side, ten candidates with elected political experience are running. On the democrat side, eight candidates with elected political experience are running. That does not count those who are considering a run but have not declared, like Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson. There are also no incumbents. Bush is barred from a 3rd term. Dick Cheney is not running for president either so we have no "it's his turn" nominee either. This is a new start and a new beginning. I'm not jumping on a bandwagon 10 months before the first primaries, and 4 months before the Iowa Straw Poll. I probably won't make any decision (unless Pence or Sanford runs) before Michigan's Mackinac Leadership Conference this fall.

The other candidates running are what I'm referring to as "Choice C." These candidates are ignored by the media, and much of the establishment. They include governors (3 of our last 4 presidents), senators, and congressmen. They have won elective office in the past, some of them in tough districts. These candidates are not of a sacrificial lamb caliber.

On the GOP side, these candidates are in besides the three we all hear about.
Duncan Hunter
Sam Brownback
Tom Tancredo
Jim Gilmore
Tommy Thompson
Mike Huckabee
Ron Paul

Other big names considering a run are Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson, Talk Show host Michael Savage, and Chuck Hagel.

On the Democrat side, these candidates are in besides the two we all hear about.
John Edwards
Chris Dodd
Joe Biden
Mike Gravel
Dennis Kucinich
Bill Richardson

Other big names considering are Wes Clark and Al Sharpton.

All those names I mentioned are getting screwed in coverage, especially by Big Media. I don't happen to care for a lot of the candidates I just listed mentioned on both sides, but they are also running, and are on as many ballots currently as the favored candidates. They should receive the same coverage as the favored candidates. One of the lesser known candidates I do like was Duncan Hunter who just came to Michigan. Trade issues are major here and he addressed those issues. Where was this covered? Only on a couple of blogs. His visit did not even get a blurb in the Oakland County area papers. The Howell Schools controversies received more coverage in the Detroit area papers than a visit by a presidential candidate.

The good news on this is that we now have the internet and do not need our news filtered by "Big media" as much as it used to be. The rest of the world is starting to catch up with us gun owners when it comes to internet political sauvy. There is plenty of coverage of Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul, and others on the net. The bad news is that "conventional wisdom", the establishment, and big media is still a major driving force in the pre-primaries. The worst thing a candidate can be tagged with is "can't win.", even if there is nothing (outside current funding) that can be said why the candidate "can't win."

I really think people are getting tired of so-called "rock star" candidates. Van Halen is a great band. It doesn't mean Eddie Van Halen would be a great president, even if he was elgible. I think people are really getting tired of the mealy mouth platitudes, double speak, BS, and lack of plans. Yes, it's time for a new direction, but:
1. What do you plan to actually do?
2. How are you going to do it?
3. Where do you really stand on these issues?
4. Who are you going to appoint for the important positions?

So what does it take to beat "conventional wisdom" in the upcoming primaries and to give the "can't win" candidates a shot at increasing their name recognition so they have a real chance to win? The answer is simple. An active and large grassroots which is not afraid to buck the establishment. It takes a lot of work, coordination, elbow grease, and time. The grass roots need to make sure this is not going to be a top down primary, but a bottom up primary. We all need to be as active as the gun owners are when there is an anti-freedom measure on the horizon.

We all have to remember one thing. This is OUR primary, OUR decision, and OUR vote. Not the media's. Not the establishment's.

I have no problem with voting for "Choice C."

3 comments:

Joe Leonardi said...

i have written some columns with a similiar theme.

I don't know if you will agree with them but feel free to check em out.

www.joeleonardi.wordpress.com

joe

Keith Richards said...

The really misleading thing about the media is that their survey methodology is usually very careless and rarely reflects the opinions of people who actually vote in primaries. Less well known candidates have a better chance of winning then the media gives them credit for, and a year from now I expect the political picture to look much different.

It is very significant that most of the highly publicized candidates have possible major negatives that the media does not discuss much. Hillary Clinton is a woman, Obama is black, Romney is a Mormon. Even in this enlightened day and age there will be many voters who may refuse to vote for them due to these reasons. Nobody knows how many, but when people vote in primaries they are going to be looking for a candidate that they believe has a good chance of winning in the fall and may avoid these big names due to uncertainty over their chances. Also, Hillary Clinton and McCain have large negative numbers within their own parties indicating that many voters won't consider them under any circumstance. This is a heavy burden to carry into primaries.
Other big names carry around baggage due to having been caught having an extra-marital affair, still a no-no to many voters.

We can be sure that attack ads will be designed to air these issues in public even if the media won't discuss them. Nobody knows what issues and concerns will gain traction and what won't. As voters contemplate the pain of losing in November '08, I expect many of them will ultimately reject many of the big names in favor of candidates who look stable, solid, and predictable.

CEW said...

You are correct. It is as though big media manages the choices as a way to limit conversation and debate about issues. It is a celebrity circus, infotainment like E! Hollywood. Big media is not where you will find a full representation of our choices or a thorough examination of issues. Thank goodness for the internet.