My Ideal Candidate

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National Journal:

Is Ben Carson the Republican Who Can Defeat Hillary Clinton?

It’s hard to miss the gospel of Ben Carson here at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, held annually just outside of Washington.

Every eager conservative activist who rides the free shuttle to the event will have to watch a video on the bus’s screens of a descendant of John Philip Sousa explaining why Carson is the “the only candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton” in 2016. And the first 2,000 people who check into their hotel rooms here will find Carson on their room keys. He’s on the CPAC straw poll, and his fans downstairs at the exhibition hall will tell you why he’s a mathematical shoo-in for the presidency.

It’s a major display in some of CPAC’s most prime real estate for someone who has never held office and is not on most pundits’ list of potential 2016 presidential candidates.

Before you laugh, consider this: The group that put Carson on the hotel keys has outraised Clinton’s draft committee, Ready for Hillary; has been on the ground in Iowa; and is working from the playbook written by Howard Dean and Barack Obama.

It’s all the work of the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, which is trying to get the conservative neurosurgeon to run for president. It’s part fan club, part savvy campaign.

The case for Carson is all about math and race. Carson is African-American and his supporters think that will be his path to victory. He’s “a respected figure among black Americans,” the video explains, and if he can win just 17 percent of the black vote, it is “mathematically impossible” for a Democrat to win the White House.

Vernon Robinson, a former three-time congressional candidate and George H.W. Bush appointee, started the draft campaign with John Philip Sousa IV and others. He says Carson, who is scheduled to speak Saturday at CPAC, is the only candidate who can broaden the GOP base among minorities, while passing muster with conservative primary voters.

“At 17 percent, Hillary loses all of the swing states and the Roosevelt Democratic coalition is destroyed,” Robinson explains. “In addition, Ben Carson is able to clearly and calmly articulate conservative positions in a way the average voter can understand.… He’s the only guy who can bond with all of the American people.”

The draft committee raised $2.83 million dollars from 47,000 donors in its first six months of operation, which ended in late February. “We crushed Ready for Hillary in fundraising,” Robinson gloats. The main group supporting the former secretary of State raised $1.25 million its first six months, and then $2.75 million in the next half-year.

“This isn’t something that three drunks came up with at a bar,” he continues.

The group is trying to run a sophisticated, if quixotic, campaign. They’re modeling themselves not after a national Republican group, but Organizing for America, the pro-Obama group, and Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, which Robinson holds up as the model of responsiveness and agility.

There’s a long history of draft campaigns in American politics, with former NATO leader Wesley Clark being perhaps the most recent semi-successful example.

But is Carson even interested? The famed neurosurgeon, who wrote controversial political books before emerging on the national scene last year when he challenged President Obama during the National Prayer Breakfast, has said he might be open to running if no satisfactory candidate emerges.


Hey there! No more dilly-dallying! Get up off your butts and pick a candidate to support!! It’s only 30 more months until the election! What are you waiting for?

I can tell already that I am gonna be sick of this next election cycle long before it gets here. I know this because I am already getting sick of it and we still haven’t done the midterms yet. Those midterms, by the way, will determine which party controls the Senate and how much of a lame duck Obama will be for his last two years in office.

But by all means, let’s talk about 2016.

My ideal candidate does not have a race or a gender. Choosing a candidate because of his/her race is the dumbest idea this country ever had. Choosing one because of his/her gender isn’t any smarter. I don’t give a shit what books they may have written or what any celebrities think of them. I also don’t care about what state they are from or what party they belong to.

My ideal candidate will have good character and be principled. I want a candidate who believes in the rule of law, smaller federal government and upholding the constitution in terms of the limits of executive power and civil rights.

My ideal candidate will have executive experience as a governor of a state. Congressional experience is helpful but not required. My ideal candidate will have demonstrated competence as a governor.

My ideal candidate will have the courage to take stands on issues as well as the wisdom to compromise when necessary. My ideal candidate will be fiscally responsible. Last but not least, my ideal candidate will be a populist and a reformer, not another tool of the establishment and special interests.

What’s that you say? I am being silly because no candidate is that perfect?

I know. I realize that I will end up settling for a less than ideal candidate, but I still want to choose the one that is closer to my ideal than all the others I have to choose from.

But I am really serious about that governor experience thing. POTUS is not an entry level position.

UPDATE:

I just wanted to add that even if a person is far from my ideal candidate that doesn’t mean that I don’t think they have any role to play in government or in our national debates.

I’d like to see Ben Carson as our Surgeon General or even Secretary of Health and Human Services. But he lacks the requisite experience to be POTUS.


speed date


About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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104 Responses to My Ideal Candidate

  1. The Klown says:

    Jonah Goldberg:

    In 2000, Jonathan Rauch, a (gay) brilliant intellectual and champion of gay marriage, wrote a wonderful essay on “hidden law,” which he defined as “the norms, conventions, implicit bargains, and folk wisdoms that organize social expectations, regulate everyday behavior, and manage interpersonal conflicts.” Basically, hidden law is the unwritten legal and ethical code of civil society. Abortion, assisted suicide, and numerous other hot-button issues were once settled by people doing right as they saw it without seeking permission from the government.

    “Hidden law is exceptionally resilient,” Rauch observed, “until it is dragged into politics and pummeled by legalistic reformers.” That crowd believes all good things must be protected by law and all bad things must be outlawed.

    As society has grown more diverse (a good thing) and social trust has eroded (a bad thing), the authority of hidden law has atrophied. Once it was understood that a kid’s unlicensed lemonade stand, while technically “illegal,” was just fine. Now kids are increasingly asked, “Do you have a permit for this?”

    Once upon a time the law presumed that everybody had common sense.

    • wmcb says:

      The nice thing about hidden law is that it allows for judicious hypocrisy(like the lemonade stand). I think hypocrisy gets a bad rap. Hypocrisy is socially useful, because it lets you make exceptions without rewriting your law.

      They used to do this on the beach where I lived. Alcohol on the beach was illegal. But everyone knew that if you were discreet, no one cared. We all drank on the beach all the time. If you got LOUD drunk, and belligerent, and annoying, the cops would toss you off the beach. Total hypocrisy. But we all understood and liked it.

      It was a small island, and there was enough sense of community that we had our hidden laws. Probably today they can’t selectively enforce like that , because some idiot will sue. But you know what? It fucking worked. Really well.

  2. The Klown says:
  3. elliesmom says:

    I agree about a candidate’s needing executive experience. The skills needed to be a good legislator are very different. I would be willing to accept experience as the CEO of a large (preferably multinational) corporation in lieu of a governorship. I don’t have a particular person in mind. I just think those skills would map to the duties of a president as well. Other people, more knowledgeable about the campaigning and election process, would be available to run any campaign.

    • Lulu says:

      How about someone who LIKES other human beings. ALL other human beings and doesn’t get pissy when they can’t eat their waffle in total silence. Maybe someone who likes to talk to OTHER human beings like say CONGRESS or the head of a country that we are occupying. Little things like that would be nice.

      • 49erDweet says:

        Here’s the thing we’ve learned but should have known already: Governors and CEO’s have learned that people with alternative viewpoints are not always “enemies”, but to Community Organizer’s there are just two kinds of people, enemies and supporters.

    • wmcb says:

      Yes. They need to have had broad responsibility in some form. The kind where YOU, personally, are accountable, for good or ill.

    • dm says:

      While I don’t necessarily disagree about the executive experience, you can trust me when I say that Ben Carson has had vast political experience being a department head at Johns Hopkins. If you have never worked for an academia oriented health care type institution, you have no idea how political it can be…

      • driguana says:

        That’s a really good point…”politics” comes in a lot of varieties…

        • elliesmom says:

          The CEO , department head, etc, have to be adept at managing the politics of running an organization. What they might lack is the politic skills to get elected. Getting “hired” may be political, too, but it’s a different skill set. Fortunately, the skills needed to get elected are the skills most easily farmed out as long as you hire good people and listen to them. And once elected, they are the skills you can most easily do without.

  4. The Klown says:

    To my list of mandatory qualifications for POTUS add: Hard worker – that one is non-negotiable.

  5. The Klown says:
  6. foxyladi14 says:

    Great post Klown.
    And I agree fully. I saw on Fox this morning Sarah saying she just might run. 😀

  7. votermom says:

    So, no race /gender, upholds the law, executive experience, tireless worker:

    HAL 2016

  8. The Klown says:

    WTF?

    Ideally, President Obama would not have extended the period for retaining the less-comprehensive policies, but in the current political environment, he opted to take a step to protect health care reform against a Republican takeover in the Senate.

  9. The Klown says:

    The last I heard they found an oil slick off the southern tip of Vietnam. But it is nighttime there now.

  10. wmcb says:

    This is a good article about John Stewart and his tired fratboy schtick, but it delves into something else that I have noticed a lot over the past few years: The Left really is intellectually bankrupt anymore. They don’t debate ideas. At all. Not even among themselves. Their whole deal now is shoring up their power, and shaming/policing the herds to stay in line. You know who does debate ideas? The middle-to-right.

    In my interactions with the right, I find all kinds of lively debate going on. They are arguing over the proper role of govt. They are going at it hammer and tongs, having real discussions and disagreements over foreign policy, and America’s role in the world. The moderates and the right libertarians argue over social programs, and their effectiveness or need. The social cons have actual, intelligent, back-and-forth discussions re: gay marriage and societal norms with gay cons. The minarchists postulate about what natural cooperative social orders might arise were our creaky State Bureaucracy not around. Not that idiots don’t exist, but if you look around at Ace, at conservative twitter, at NR and other venues, they argue their case with one another regarding Big Ideas and entire overarching world views. This whole thing about “the stupid non-intellectually-curious right” is one of the biggest crocks I’ve ever seen. Even in areas where I disagree with this or that faction, the right is MUCH more likely to debate ideas with me than to just try to point and laugh and shut me up.

    Alan Simpson’s partisan taxonomy — the Stupid (Republican) party vs. the Evil (Democratic) party — no longer holds, if it ever did. At CPAC this week, you will find students of Robert George debating students of Robert Nozick about the subject of gay marriage, and Governor Rick Perry of Texas, among others, arguing that mandatory-minimum-sentence laws are a failure, while Chuck Grassley and others support them. (How many members of Mr. Stewart’s audience know that Senator Michael Lee of Utah and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas in January introduced a bill to reduce mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders and to make retroactive the 2010 reforms relating to crack-cocaine sentences?) There is no CPAC of the Left, because the Left is not interested even in its own ideas, much less those of Professor George or the late Professor Nozick.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/372901/destroyer-cometh-kevin-d-williamson/page/0/1

    • The Klown says:

      The intellectual decline of the Left has been something to see. I am reminded of a joke that P. J. O’Rourke once made about my hometown: “There’s also a whiff of highbrow in Siberia. For a hick town, Irkutsk had too many opera houses, theaters, museums, and academic institutes. This is because, for hundreds of years, the smarty-pants reformers, annoying idealists, and know-it-all do-gooders were sent here for life. It’s as though everyone who voted for George McGovern was packed off to Lubbock, Texas.” You could not make the same joke about Obama voters or Occupiers — or, especially, about Jon Stewart’s audience — because nobody expects any of them to start an opera house or an academic institute. They are busy watching an ersatz Beavis and Butt-Head for psychology majors who enjoy having their modest intellects flattered and their perceived enemies “destroyed.”

      I lost all faith in the left’s intellectual ideas when they tossed them aside for Barack Obama.

      • wmcb says:

        What’s odd is that I can still have a reasonably intelligent conversation with an honest-to-god Marxist before I can have one with your garden variety Prog. They’re all about The Feels anymore.

  11. The Klown says:
  12. The Klown says:
  13. driguana says:

    Basically agree with you about the basis of governorship as a good foundation for a president. Apparently we have had 17 presidents who were governors first…you can debate their successfulness. However, being a governor offers a solid grounding in management, fiscal policy and governance, among other qualities but there is something else that a good governor does….good communication skills, and that entails speaking and getting out and meeting and talking with people. Having said that, it just may be time to have someone grounded in different leadership skills…..honesty, sincerity, and realness are a few. In that regard, I really like Ben Carson. Agreed, he does not have legislative skills but one can also surround themselves with a host of qualified people to advise them in those areas. Surgeon General? Nah, isn’t that a somewhat token position? Whoever the Republicans come up with, there is going to have to be tremendous solidarity to give them any chance in the next election. That’s the biggest sisyphusian challenge of all!

    Here’s a link about presidents as governors…
    http://www.wisegeek.com/how-many-united-states-presidents-were-governors-first.htm

    • The Klown says:

      Surgeon General? Nah, isn’t that a somewhat token position?

      It has been so in the past, but does it have to be? Who would you rather have in charge of our nation’s healthcare – a doctor or a politician?

  14. The Klown says:

    The right side of the blogosphere (aka “Wingnuttia) seems unusually quiet this morning. I suspect CPAC 2014 hangovers are to blame.

  15. The Klown says:
  16. The Klown says:

    Dominic P. Nanni:

    The core of libertarianism is a false choice. You can either have complete freedom or no freedom at all, they say. Indeed, this fundamentally purist interpretation of the word freedom may be real in their minds but it drops dead in the real world. The reality is that freedom is NOT absolute and for the common good of the country it can be limited. I don’t believe a business owner is acting under the guise of freedom if he doesn’t want to serve minorities or gay people just as I don’t think it is freedom for someone to shoot their neighbor because they suspect they might be a criminal. In the real world we offer compromises to freedom for the betterment of society, it is a game of give and take. And firmly believing in this reality doesn’t make me a hater of the constitution, Senator Rand Paul.

    Who is “they?” #Strawman

    • wmcb says:

      Literally no one believes that a society can function with every person having absolute freedom. No one. Even the freaking crazy anarchists (the serious ones) believe that the destruction of the State will lead to self-governing *communities* naturally arising, who will structure themselves in a wide variety of ways. Even THOSE extremists don’t view just atomized individuality as remotely sustainable.

      No one, of any political theory, proposes what he just postulated.

  17. The Klown says:

    This reminds me of so many on the left today:

    Belling the Cat

    LONG ago, the mice had a general council to consider what measures they could take to outwit their common enemy, the Cat. Some said this, and some said that; but at last a young mouse got up and said he had a proposal to make, which he thought would meet the case. “You will all agree,” said he, “that our chief danger consists in the sly and treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches us. Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape from her. I venture, therefore, to propose that a small bell be procured, and attached by a ribbon round the neck of the Cat. By this means we should always know when she was about, and could easily retire while she was in the neighbourhood.”
    This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got up and said: “That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?” The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke. Then the old mouse said:
    IT IS EASY TO PROPOSE IMPOSSIBLE REMEDIES.

    • angienc says:

      Reminds of you so many on the left? It’s Obama’s entire playbook in 2008! I remember him going to NOLA & promising that if he got elected he would have all levees re-built to withstand Cat 5 hurricanes before his first term was over. My brother — an environmental engineer – assured me that if the Army Corp of Engineers started hauling the dirt need to do that NOW (Spring 2008) they wouldn’t even have all the dirt they needed down to NOLA by the end of his first term. IOW, it was impossible to do what Obama was promising (Cat 5 levees protecting entire are built by 2012). I told an Obot that he was making promises he couldn’t keep & told her about the levee promise — her response was (hand to God) “Well, at least he’s promising *something.* The fact that he may as well have been promising to turn lead to gold mattered not one wit to her.

  18. helenk3 says:

    I still like Scott Walker. he has fought the fight and won. turned a negative balance into a surplus. Has the backbone that is needed and stands up to the unions and the libs. The republicans need that now.
    there are many good candidates for vice president.
    Ben Carson, Jan Brewer, Alan West ad many others in the party. They smart people that if they worked together could do a lot to get the country going again.
    I also do not want someone who has been too long at the fair in DC.

  19. helenk3 says:

    I also like this man for congress even though I do not live in his state. People forget that who they elect from their state makes a difference for the whole country

  20. wmcb says:

    A really good piece on how the grassrooots GOP is trending, if not libertarian, at the very least decidedly more federalist. And as many of us on this blog have said, moving in that direction is the ONLY hope for the GOP. We already have a party that wants govt constantly up in your business: they are called Democrats. Being the “I want to be only slightly less in your business, but with less free stuff” party is doomed.

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/03/07/cpacs-libertarian-infiltration

  21. lyn says:

    Any Republican presidential candidate faces an uphill battle because of our worthless national media.

    • Lulu says:

      I agree but they have a declining influence. Part of it is the economy with fewer people with paying for cable and money to pay for subscriptions of newspapers and magazines even online. The other is the syncopatic crap they produce and people know what they are doing and it is ruining their business model. Cheer-leading for Obamacare has not helped it because the public know they are lying.

  22. angienc says:

    Ha ha! I haven’t seen that Mystery Date game in forever. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was a game that my dad’s sister had as a young girl, because the only place I’ve ever seen it was at my grandma’s house.

    I loved it, btw.

  23. The Klown says:

    Aging hippies are so cute:

    Take another bong hit, grandpa! Then tell us again about how you and grandma got naked at Woodstock!

  24. The Klown says:
  25. Propertius says:

    My ideal candidate will have executive experience as a governor of a state. Congressional experience is helpful but not required. My ideal candidate will have demonstrated competence as a governor.

    A good point, but I think some sort of foreign policy experience is also a must. I don’t want the next President to think people in Austria speak “Austrian”, particularly if he/she is going to be up against Putin on a regular basis.

  26. helenk3 says:

    smart kid

    oungcons.com/elementary-school-kid-is-asked-what-does-the-president-do-his-answer-is-classic/

  27. wmcb says:

    CPAC is currently polling all the straws. I’m betting Rand Paul, since 40% of those voting are age 18-25.

    BTW, despite the Lefty media’s attempt to paint it as “old white men”, do people relaize that half of CPAC is a very VERY young crowd?

    • wmcb says:

      Both the top contenders are of a decidedly Federalist/Libertarian bent. If the GOP has a brain in their heads, they will pay attention to this.

    • wmcb says:

      And of course, the usual GOP establishment and neocon types are grousing all over Twitter that it means nothing, blah blah blah.

      Well, no, it means nothing as far as predicting who the next GOP candidate will be. But it does matter if they are to have any hope of future electoral success. Morons.

    • The Klown says:

      Facts are irrelevant when you are telling The Truth.

  28. The Klown says:

    It is after 5pm and I feel sufficiently recuperated from my previous bout of excessive alcohol consumption to attempt to finish off this bottle of fine Kentucky bourbon.

    Whenever I drink bourbon I feel like watching Justified.

    • wmcb says:

      I have a dry cough, tight chest, and feel like crap. I plan to heat some whiskey and honey, go the hot toddy route. My granddaddy used to dose us with a hot toddy, even as kids. He was a big believer in medicinal whiskey. Great for loosening up a chest cold.

  29. wmcb says:

  30. helenk3 says:

    Judge Jeanine my nominee for Attorney General is on fire tonight in her opening statement. When the video becomes available it is a must see

  31. helenk3 says:

    http://weaselzippers.us/178668

    that president thing is hard work.
    how secure do you will with this in charge?

    who ever the republicans choose to run , they have to be better than this

  32. helenk3 says:

    grown ups could learn a lot from this little girl

    http://www.wimp.com/hairdonate/

  33. leslie says:

    I’m going to bed early tonight. I get to see BOTH grandbabies tomorrow. The old one and the new one. I’ll try to get a photo to you all somehow.

  34. helenk3 says:

    MYIQ does this make sense to you?

  35. wmcb says:

    Jeremiah Wright’s daughter just got convicted of 11 counts of fraud.

  36. mothy67 says:

    I wish it could be Cruz or Palin. The hardworking thing is imperative. It is your job to read legislation before you sign it. How many hours of real work do you think Ted Kennedy did. I am still on the fence about Hillary. I do believe she works her ass off but the Benghazi still needs to be adressed and without a DNC muzzle. I like her angry but she has to respond to the critics. I would be fine with even a fuck you.

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