As the desire to recruit New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to run for president seems to have reached a fever pitch, I’ve found myself repeatedly wondering, “What’s so wrong with the candidates we have now?” In fact, at the end of the CNN/Tea Party Express debate a couple weeks ago, I tweeted it.
Yes, Perry was wrong on Gardasil. Yes, Mitt Romney was wrong on Romneycare. But either would be better than Obama. Virtually any of the GOP candidates would be!
Is it an issue of polish? Some say Romney has too much of it. Others are punishing Perry for appearing less than poised in last week’s debate. Have you ever tried to count the number of awkward pauses in a President Obama speech?
The point is not that we should “settle.” Like Michele Bachmann, I think Obama’s underwhelming presidency and the 2012 elections give us an unparalleled opportunity to pick a truly conservative president. The point is that we need to look at the candidates a little more holistically — and ask ourselves who will lead in a direction we want to follow. Who up on that stage is comfortable enough in his own skin to not worry about being a pleaser, to just be jovial, to set priorities, to have firm, principled convictions (evolved, perhaps, from past mistakes) and to hold to those convictions even after assuming the position of greatest influence in the nation?
For that’s the sort of leader Ronald Reagan was — and he didn’t necessarily have a flawless record. His son said as much on Fox News today: