Day: February 9, 2011

Religion And The American Presidency: No Religious Test!

The United States has come a long way in the past fifty years, electing our first Catholic President, John F. Kennedy; witnessing our first Greek Orthodox Presidential nominee, Michael Dukakis; having a second Catholic nominee for President, John Kerry; nominating three other Catholics for Vice President–Edmund Muskie, Sargent Shriver, and Geraldine Ferraro; electing the first Greek Othodox Vice President, Spiro Agnew; electing the first Catholc Vice President, Joe Biden; and nominating the first Jewish Vice Presidential nominee, Joe Lieberman.

So therefore, it is time to see evangelical Christians stop declaring their opposition to the nomination and possible election of a Mormon President!

The Republican Party has the real opportunity to nominate a possibly winning candidate in 2012, and has the blessing of two excellent, well qualified nominees, arguably the two best candidates in the field.

One, Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, was the runner up to John McCain in the 2008 Presidential nomination battle, and has proved to have great business experience, and strong leadership in his term as Governor of Massachusetts. He has already, in 2008, tried to overcome the religious issue with a speech making clear that, like John F. Kennedy stated about his religion, he would be a President who happened to be Mormon, not a Mormon President!

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who is resigning as Ambassador to China, has excellent credentials in foreign policy and had a successful time as the Governor of the Mormon state, and showed open mindedness, and is seen by many observers as an exceptional person who could be a great candidate, and his Mormon faith should not be a factor in his running for President.

It is time for evangelicals and others to stop using religion as a reason to deny someone who is talented and capable the opportunity to run for President!

Sure, both Romney and Huntsman have their shortcomings, but in so many ways, they are the best candidates available, and religion should not be a consideration in the upcoming Presidential race!

The Promotion Of Jeb Bush For The Presidency

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has made it crystal clear that he is NOT interested in running for President in 2012, or has he? 🙂

One gets the feeling that he has NOT given up completely on the idea, and when one considers much of the Republican field is seen clearly as losers, unable to win the country over Barack Obama in 2012, one can understand why Jeb’s name keeps on coming up. He could be looking for a so called “draft” like Dwight D. Eisenhower had in 1951 to convince him to run in 1952.

If one looks rationally at the multitude of possible candidates, only three seem at all realistic–Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Jeb Bush.

All three are competent and qualified, and are not connected to the loony side of the GOP, including the Tea Party Movement.

Of course, that makes it more difficult for them, as the Tea Party Movement, and the impact of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann and other loonies like them, may be enough to prevent any of the three above from being the GOP nominee.

But if the goal in politics is to WIN, then one of these three might just be the right guy for the moment!

The problem that Romney and Huntsman face, however, is their Mormon religion, which turns off evangelical Christians. But both have backgrounds and qualifications that make them prime possibilities for President, although Huntsman is not yet well known.

But Bush has the advantages of having been, overall, a popular governor of the fourth largest state, Florida; having an appeal to Hispanics and Latinos since he is seen as open minded on the immigration issue; and seen as smarter and brighter than his brother George by far!

Don’t forget that originally the Bush family plan was that Jeb would win the governorship of Florida in 1994 and then run for President in 2000, but Lawton Chiles ruined that, and Jeb had to wait until 1998, and by then brother George had already been Governor of Texas for four years, so George got the advantage to run for President.

The National Review, a conservative journal of great reputation, and its editor, Rich Lowry, make the case for Jeb in 2012, arguing that he has a better chance of uniting a party that has no strong leader yet; that for Jeb to wait to 2016 will make him seem “old news”, and that many newer candidates will come along by then, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio; that the rehabilitation of brother George has already begun, so being a Bush is not as negative as it was in 2008; and that waiting is always a mistake, and that one must be aggressive in going for an opportunity to run, as such examples as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama proves.

So with such a large and mostly weird, loony list of possible candidates, or those who simply have no national appeal, the likelihood that Jeb Bush will yet be heard from for 2012 grows!