Free Markets, Free People

Looking for Ronald Reagan

A poll out today shows that even with all the early debates and attention GOP presidential candidates have gotten to this point, most Republican voters remain uncommitted:

About eight in 10 Republican primary voters say it is still too early to tell whom they will support, and just four in 10 say they have been paying a lot of attention to the 2012 presidential campaign, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Herman Cain, the former restaurant executive, is riding a wave of support among Republican primary voters that has placed him in a statistical dead heat with rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, in a race that has been characterized by momentum swings among the candidates.

The poll found Mr. Cain with the highest level of support, with 25 percent of Republican primary voters, and Mr. Romney with 21 percent. This difference is within the poll’s margin of sampling error.

Adding to the fluidity of the contest, about one in 10 Republican primary voters say they would like to see someone else nominated.

As bad as President Obama might be, it is clear that there is no particular love to be found for the present Republican field.   Perry has all but imploded, Bachman continues to marginalize herself, Paul has a rabid but small contingent of supporters but can never seem to get beyond that, Gingrich has way too much baggage, Santorum is a marginal candidate at best and Mitt Romney is the nominee of last resort.

The reason, in my opinion, that Herman Cain has risen in the polls is because he comes from a background of business success.  He reflects a desire by many to have someone who can take the reins of the government and steer in such a way that it becomes a help to our economy, not a hindrance and drag.  His increased support speaks to a desire for someone in office with economic and business experience.  

But I think there’s also a great desire, so far unfulfilled, for someone who has a clear vision that can be articulated and that captures the imagination and revives the spirit.  And while Cain may fill the practical side of the equation, at least to an acceptable extent, he’s not been able to fulfill the “vision quest” part.   As gifted an orator as he might be and despite the fact he’s got practical and successful business he’s not been able to persuade enough Republican voters to come to his side to put him in the unassailable lead.

And of course neither have any of the others.

Republicans are still looking for Ronald Reagan.  A man or woman who can not only lift the malaise but lift the spirit as well.   Who can not only apply practical principled solutions to our problems but make America feel good about itself again. 

Right now, that person isn’t yet in the race, or if he or she is, they’ve not emerged as such.   This country is in desperate want of inspiration, reassurance and practical experience.   The current candidates just aren’t measuring up to that want or need.   Thus the poll results.

Is there a Ronald Regan out there?  Is there a candidate that will finally step forward and fulfill those voter wants as Reagan did when running against Jimmy Carter.

I often wonder what the outcome might have been had any of these candidates running for the GOP nomination today had been the choice against Carter.  I’m not so sure Carter would have lost.


Twitter: @McQandO

17 Responses to Looking for Ronald Reagan

  • If we can’t get a Reagan – and we won’t this cycle anyway, but we have a few promising candidates down the road – we can alleviate the issue by packing Congress with as many conservatives as possible to force the next President towards the right policies 

    • What promising candidates do the Republicans have coming down the road? Chris Christie? I love the guy but there is a reason my extremely liberal family in New Jersey love the guy. Who else?
      A friend of mine, I think Bruce knows him, is a Democratic pollster. He called me the other night and asked if I would answer some questions for him, I’m fairly nice so I said yes. After asking a few questions he stopped and asked me strait out who I saw on either side of the aisle down the pike who might be good for the country, my answer was, no one. There isn’t anyone down the road. He then asked me if I had to pick anyone, whether running or not to be President who I would pick. After pausing for about 3 minutes, the only answer I came up with was Jeb Bush. He laughed and told me that 90% of people trending Republican and about 50% of people trending Democrat answered the same way. Steve is a dyed in the wool Democrat and he even said Jeb would be great as a President. It won’t happen this cycle, but there you go.
      And just as an insider thing, the reason he actually called was to ask what my opinion of Al Gore defeating Obama in a primary would be. I gave him fairly high odds on that happening if it were to take place. So there you have it, either Jeb Bush or Gore.

        • Why not Christie?  I’m not so much a bear on social issues but fiscal ones? Yup, and Christie is close enough for what we need. We have some talented guys around, a Jindal, a Rubio, a Paul Ryan.  Not saying they’re Reagan, but any would be a significant upgrade over Romney (ugh)

  • Sooner or later…and it better be sooner…we are going to need to come to the realization that WE are the ones who have to take the nation back.
    And then KEEP it back where it belongs.

    • Exactly. Even Romney will suffice with a GOP Congress and Senate. Excuse me, let me be more specific…a Tea Party Congress and Senate.

  • The only GOP candidate I’d seriously consider is Paul.  That said, I doubt he’ll get the nomination because the establishment GOP doesn’t like him.  More to the subject at hand, Paul is no Reagan.  Paul, for the most part, is a great policy wonk.  As for leadership, the kind discussed here for leading the country out of its malaise, I just don’t see Paul doing that.
    The person I do see doing something like that is Christie.  There are two problems with that.  1) he’s not running.  2) he is inexperienced.  Christie is a good, scrappy fighter of the kind you’d want in leader.  Maybe in 2016… if it is not too late.
    Then again, I’m pretty well convinced that it is too late.

  • Actually the guy who is closest to Reagan both in policy, optimism, and the ability to discuss ideas is in the race, it is Newt Gingrich.
    I know he as a lot of baggage, but he is the one person in national politics right now who is most like the Gipper.

    • Newt’s biggest upside is that Palin has gotten so much bad press that most folks have forgotten Newt’s warts.

    • Actually, Newt is the perfect VP.  Who would want to replace (through extraordinary means) a POTUS Romney or Perry with Newt.

  • Newt does have baggage, but Romney is lugging around a trunk called RomneyCare.

  • For all you Ronulins…
    better read this.  It comes as no surprise to me.