(Believe me, it hurts to have to start off a post quoting lyrics from 80s “hair” band Poison.)
The latest column by Fox News contributor and political columnist Michael Barone , entitled “GOP Needs a Front-Runner Stronger Than Candidate X’‘, should provide some real food for thought to GOP candidates here in North Carolina and at the national level:
The race for the Republican presidential nomination finally seems to be gelling. On Wednesday night, candidates debated at the Reagan Library in California — the first of five scheduled debates over the next five weeks.
They are competing for a nomination that increasingly seems worth having. In July and August, President Obama’s job approval has been dropping like a stone. On July 4, the realclearpolitics.com average of recent polls showed it narrowly positive, 47 to 46 percent. On Tuesday, it was negative, 43 to 51 percent.
Obama’s approval hasn’t topped 46 percent in a public poll since mid-July. It hasn’t topped 50 percent in a public poll since mid-June.
Nevertheless, none of the current candidates outperforms the generic “Republican candidate.”
Exactly. No one out there is inspiring the voters. Running on being “Not Barack Obama” or “Not Bev Perdue” may get you elected, but it doesn’t do much to produce a mandate for you.
The national media is having a hard time understanding why the American public gets so excited about the blunt rhetoric from people like Donald Trump and Rick Perry. It’s the same phenomenon that whipped up passionate followings for Barry Goldwater in 1964, Ronald Reagan in 1980, and Senator Jesse Helms over three decades. The alleged mainstream media and The Ruling Class sniffed that these guys were all “divisive” and “dangerous.” The average voter saw something different. They saw guys who told it like it is. They saw guys who made promises and lived up to them.
People are tired of being lied to. They are tired of being drained financially and emotionally by government. They want someone in power who actually has a clue about how hard it is to make a living with the government leviathan sitting on your shoulders every day. They aren’t excited by someone who cautions followers not to say Barry-O’s middle name, or wants to be Monty Hall and play “Let’s Make A Deal” with Bev Perdue, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. They are begging for a fighter who will go nose-to-nose with The Ruling Class with a sensible, conservative agenda. Not someone who tries to keep EVERYONE happy.
Plain-spokenness has helped Sarah Palin with the masses since 2008. It helped Michelle Bachman until she clammed up at the debate last night. Texas Governor Rick Perry took it to The Ruling Class at the debate last night. He’s talking the talk. To make it to 1600 Penn, and achieve some success for himself and the country, he’s got to walk the walk.
Here in North Carolina, we are being saddled with Pat McCrory, the former mayor of Charlotte. He is raising money and achieving success in the polls for being “NOT Bev Perdue.” His record as Charlotte mayor is very much in the “Monty Hall” mold. (Who knows what he is actually doing for a living.)
What are his core beliefs that he will fight for? How can he truly relate to those of us out here struggling under the weight of that leviathan in Raleigh? What happens if McCrory develops health issues, or is hit with a major political scandal? Where do we go next? Why are we putting all of our eggs in this one not-well-known basket when we have the BEST opportunity in decades to knock off a liberal big spending governor?
At the national and state level, GOP leaders need to give us more than Candidate X. They need to give us something to believe in. Something to fight for.