Friday, October 2, 2009

Vetting a 2012 Republican President

Today's post will act as a conversation piece. With the 2012 presidential campaign due to start moments after the 2010 elections are over, now is a great time to look at the field of contenders and what their run or nomination would indicate. I am going to explore strategic significance, principles of libertarianism as it relates to the Tea Parties, and any noticeable advantages. One thing you may find interesting is that I have mostly found ALL mainstream "knowns" unsuitable to lead in a manner needed to fix the wrongs of the current state of the union.

Firstly, my list is going to be overwhelmingly dominated by Governors of States. It is my belief that executive offices require executive experience. Obama, the first Senator to be elected since JFK, has proven the point that Senators make bad Presidents! (I have not included Ron Paul because of his age... he is the only other candidate with impressive ideas of drastic changes needed to return Liberty to the People.)

Secondly, this list is in no particular order - but I will offer up a top three, as I see them.

Thirdly, Governors with re-elections in 2010 stand to lead the pack, as they will be backed by momentum, and could go hard against Obama on a national level during their campaign... something to watch for - but not necessarily the biggest factor!

My conversation piece of potentials:

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell. She has the ability to draw much attention due to her state's Civil Union laws - a break in ranks from hardcore Social Conservatives, leaning toward a Libertarian ideology of Personal Liberties (even in the bedroom) - This alone would make for great debate and give a good representation of the future make-up of the GOP. She is very moderate, and a nomination would not be in support of the general agenda of the Libertarian Movement. Definitely not one to win, but one to draw attention to Political Parties using Govt. to force Social Agendas. Her re-election campaign in 2010 may be an indicator as to her future aspirations.

Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter. He is a little known one-term Governor, but his early Congressional opposition to the Patriot Act and many of Bush's policies are signs of his promising Libertarian streak. He is up for re-election in 2010. There is nothing highly controversial, nor glaringly spectacular about this potential candidate. Busted for DUI and married to a much younger woman... other than that he is a fairly conservative "no-namer" with a libertarian streak that could sit well with a country ready to reduce the role of the Federal Govt. He is up for re-election in 2010. How he runs that campaign could make or break it for this Libertarian minded Republican.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Mitch has been pinged a number of times for 2012, and has denied interest in running. He is a reformer in Indian, and could bring some energy back to the GOP in that region - however, a Daniels presidency would grossly resemble a Bush presidency. There is no indication that Daniels would openly support Libertarian ideals in eliminating the Federal stranglehold on the Union. This guy may be one to watch, but not for reasons of support... we should be wary of this "Bush Republican".

North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven. The longest serving governor in the United States, Hoeven is a Libertarian minded Conservative. His support of strict state's rights in control over drug policy, health care, gun issues, etc make him a glowing prospect to carry the Gadsden flag to the White House. As a former president of a state owned bank, he has the right credentials in times of economic woe - which I still see us being in as we approach 2012. Hoeven's term is up in 2012, so he will have to make a move on his own to rise to the national stage.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. Until recently he was my favorite for the 2012 campaign. However, the handling of his affair may have ended his political career. Regardless, he may be the best and most outspoken Libertarian Republican we have in the field... If we can get around the fact that he, like most Americans, is going through a divorce, there may be time to rebound by 2012. Pending results of a possible S.C. impeachment, I would keep Sanford on my watch list.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry. I mention Rick Perry hesitantly, and only because of his "secession" talk of late. A governor who truly understands the intent of the 9th and 10th amendments to the Constitution makes for a great President. There are, however, two drawbacks. He is from Texas, Bush was from Texas - I can already hear the Dems battle cry "we don't need another Texas Governor running this country like Bush"... It's all the dems have, and they will not be able to resist running another anti-Bush campaign in 2012. Secondly, "independent" Texas governors tend to forget the concept of state's rights once they transition into the white house... Perry may very well end up taking the reigns of tyranny without remorse, and controlling the population under the guise of "I know best" - something the Federal Government excels at.

Puerto Rico Gov. Luis G. Fortuño. Though only newly elected as Governor of PR, Fortuno's leadership experience and commitment to service of Puerto Rico's community is stellar. He leads the "New Progressive Party" of Puerto Rico, which caucuses with the Republicans and advocates for PR to become a state of the Union -the opposite mind-set of the secessionist movements. His election would quell the battle cry for freedom from the Federal Government, as it is his policy to reduce the size of government - if only for purely economic reasons. Also, as you may be wondering, he is a resident of Puerto Rico - which is a US territory and NOT a state. This would open some of the most pressing and relevant Constitutional discussions regarding the presidency in the history of the United States. If the left thought Palin caught them off guard, just try a liberty minded territorial resident aimed at healing the Union by putting to rest the policy of territories, US expansionism without representation, and re-emphasising the importance of sovereignty and autonomy while supporting a limited Federal Role. This guy may be the real ticket to a New Republican Party focused on renewed state's rights.

Guam Gov. Felix Camacho. Though less likely to stir the pot than Fortuno, Camacho has the ability to draw into question the 50 state policy of the United States, the way the US deals with territories, and the ever important role of state sovereignty and autonomy. Camacho is term limited in 2010, but could make a name for himself by challenging the Federal Government and the United States on the territory policy. This is less likely to happen in Guam as it is in Puerto Rico, but Camacho may ruffle some feathers.

Who I definitely DO NOT want to see in 2012. Jindahl, Pawlenty, McCain, Romney, Barbour.

Jindahl just doesn't have what it takes, and his hype by the GOP in 2008 for VP made me very aware of his "puppet" status as a candidate. His response to the State of the Union was weak, and he has done nothing of significance. He gets a Libertarian rating of F from me, and would prove to be a continuation of Bush Era policies. Jindahl voted yes on making the PATRIOT Act permanent, voted in favor of the 2006 Military Commissions Act, supported a constitutional amendment banning flag burning, and voted for the Real ID Act of 2005. Not a Small Government activist in the least.

Pawlenty is a McCain moderate that adds nothing inspiring to the field of potential candidates.

McCain has no chance of ever again getting the Republican nomination and should strongly consider leaving the national stage for his direct responsibility in electing Obama.

Mitt Romney has never won me over, is too similar to John Kerry, and his one term in MA Governorship was indicative of his inability to hold the line on a position. He never was and will never be a good candidate for presidency.

In July 2009, a Rasmussen Reports poll indicated that 34% of registered Republicans have a favorable view of Mississippi Gov. Barbour. However, 37% dislike him, which is the highest unfavorable percentage among 5 other possible Republican candidates for 2012: Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Tim Pawlenty. Also, 21% of GOP voters would least like to see Barbour win the party nomination in 2012. Including the Liberty Republican.

I have left Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin until the end for a reason. She was my pick for VP, he was my pick for President.

Huckabee, at this point, lacks the willingness to end entanglements with foreign countries, reduce the size and control of the Federal Government, and eliminate the Federal Reserve. He is a proponent of the Fair Tax, which is promising. However, I fear that after Obama, a Huckabee message of Hope and Change (as in 2008) will not get far, and that his intent to use the POTUS platform to enact a strong Conservative Social agenda does nothing to advance True Libertarianism and reduced Federal Government.

Sarah Palin, the bull-dog, is a rally cry for state's rights and perceived change within the ranks of the GOP. She is the manifestation of discontent with the status quo within the Republican Party, and lacking an alternative may be our next Presidential Candidate, ensuring Obama a two term presidency. Palin cannot win votes from the left. She doesn't represent enough of a Libertarian change within the ranks of the GOP and she has not made decisions that inspire confidence in her ability to lead the nation. As a VP, perhaps... but she has yet to indicate that she has what is needed to return the Presidency and the Union to a settled state. She is too polarizing, and for all the wrong reasons - a distraction as I see it at this point. As much as it pains me to say it, She has a lot of growth ahead if she is going to win my endorsement again.

My early picks, then, would be as follows:

Puerto Rico Gov. Luis G. Fortuño

North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven

Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter

I will start watching these early picks to see if they have what it takes, and if the political climate is conducive to the type of campaign that they are capable of running and winning!

h/t to blog:

Fortuno was born in San Juan, in 1960. He attended the School of Foreign Service (Georgetown University) where he received his bachelor’s degree and went to the University of Virginia Law, to obtain his Juris Doctorate. Politics became a part of his life early on, when he was voted Vice-President of his Freshman Class, and later became the Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Conference. He also played a significant role in the establishment of the Congressional Friends of Spain Caucus. While working his way up in the Republican Party, Fortuno held various positions throughout his career including member of the House Republican Policy Committee, member of the Executive Committee of the National Republican Congressional Committee, served on the Committee of Education and Labor, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and was the President of Hotel Development Corporation. His position as Department of Economic Development and Commerce Secretary came in 1994 and in 2005, he was elected to Congress. With the various positions held over the years, Fortuno has gathered a wealth of knowledge in various sectors and it is believed that if anyone can bring about change in Puerto Rico, it would be him.


  1. Wow! This is utterly fabulous. Would you mind if I reprinted in toto for Libertarian Republican blog?

    If nothing else, I'll certainly run excerpts.

    email me at

    I love your mentioning the PR Governor. I'm a huge fan of Puerto Rico. Didn't know this guy had libertarian leanings.

  2. Appreciate you bringing these names forward and for your high ideals, but the post could stand a shred of political realism, too -- like an acknowledgment that the chance of any of these three candidates making the national GOP ticket in 2012 is smaller than the Detroit Lions winning the Super Bowl.

    And Mark Sanford? He's toast. Three months ago I was right with you (he was tops on my list), but he's proven himself too flaky and obstinate -- not good traits in a leader of any stripe.

    I'd also like to see more concrete evidence why the three names you tout actually would be effective in advancing the cause of liberty and limited government.

    I'd also like to see more evidence why you are so dismissive of Mitch Daniels (like the evidence you linked to for Bobby Jindal) -- because I actually have been favorable to the idea of his candidacy. Though I admittedly need to do more research.

    You might be wrong about Tim Pawlenty ( --On the issue of Mr. Obama's agenda during his first year in office, Mr. Pawlenty told The Times he would want other governors to join in raising objections if the Democrat-led Congress enacts a sweeping health care measure that forces mandates on the states, including one that would require each adult in the country to buy health insurance.

    The 10th Amendment states powers not specifically delegated to the federal government under the Constitution, nor prohibited by it, are "reserved" to the states or the people.

    "It is important to raise the issue - not through lawsuits or threats to secede - but because doing so makes a philosophical statement and political statement for policymakers to take seriously," he said. "The federal government shouldn't boss us around as states. It's another example of federal government's encroachment on markets and individual freedoms."

    He said he is "not aware of any other instance where the federal government has required an individual to purchase a good and service."--

    Finally, glad to see you recognize that Huckabee and Palin aren't the answer. That Romney, Huckabee and McCain were the last three GOP candidates standing last year is really quite depressing, when you think about it.

    Please continue this important dialogue...

  3. Ben - Thank you so much for your feedback! I'll address your concerns in the order they were brought up:

    1. The reality of the three names I mentioned coming to the forefront are not so bad that they should be compared to the Lions... No one deserves that association!

    Fortuno, in particular, was a speaker at the RNC Convention in 2008, has been on Cavuto where he was touted as a "rising star" in the GOP, and has been in Congress long enough to have attained "experience" that Dear leader lacked on the national level. By 2012 his legislative and executive experience will rival that of Dear Leader's, especially in that governing an autonomous territory like Puerto Rico gives him the added advantage of Foreign Policy that State's governors do not have. Fortuno's ability to advance the flag of Liberty is directly evident in his slashing of the Puerto Rican government pork - cutting thousands of useless government jobs, totalling $2 Billion savings from excessive govt. spending. It is that kind of thinking and action which makes Fortuno one to watch.

    It is less likely that Hoeven will make a move or an impact, however, his time as governor has shown his ability to run a state with a balanced budget, conservative values, and a libertarian mindset when it comes to state's rights.

    Otter is sure to make headlines as he is openly defying the Federal Government by refusing Bailout money. He may be a non-starter on the national scene, but a good guy to put out in front as a "model governor" when it comes to state's rights.

    2. Sanford is toast... but still deserves soem mention. I did note that his career may be over, but there is always a glimmer of hope out there...

    3. Mitch Daniels is your typical run-of-the-mill Republican... This list was intended to cast a net into the GOP pond and find a gem, however, Daniels doesn't seem to be that gem. Is he able to get things done in his state? Yes. Created Jobs, but raised taxes. Balanced the budget, but under Bush oversaw a horrible budget surplus squandering on the national level. He has managed his state well, and may do well to maintain the status quo - but he is not controversial enough to take on Obama - at least I have not seen it.

    4. Pawlenty, like Daniels, is just Bush light... They are saying the right things to have "gone on the record" for a run in 2012, but their actions speak louder than words... just like Romney, saying one thing does not undo what you have done. Pawlenty, as I stated, is non-inspiring and does not echo the sentiment of the Tea Parties, nor does he look to advance liberty via state's rights. He is misguided about secession - it is not the threat of secession, but the RIGHT of secession which makes it so powerful... it asserts that the states are sovereign, and that we are part of the Union under our free will... If the federal government BELIEVED that, there would NEVER be a threat of force against the citizens to buy a good or service or face prison... NEVER. Pawlenty does not see that, and if he is the nominee, the GOP will have lost the momentum of the push towards liberty, and the tea parties (as I suspect) will be nothing more than the distraction that derailed the other party... not a true liberty revolution.

    5. Huckabee, Palin, Romney, McCain... they were all right to add elements to the debate for 2008... that no longer translates for 2012. Unless "also ran" candidates do something spectacular, there is no room for them in a post Obama administration.

  4. Found your blog and list through Libertarian Republican. I haven't had the time or energy to know a lot about your picks.

    I think the main lesson learned over the past years is that most politicians crave power and have little respect for principles or human libery. This is so much more true today since the government is granted and used to almost unlimited powers. What this means is that no president alone can even come close to gaining our freedom and rights back.

    This is why a coherent grass roots movement targeted at all levels of government and the courts is needed. Your list seems to indicate that some states, like Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska and the like already come close to having widespread support for liberty. The trick will be one of turning those states for the process of turning the partial "red states" fully red.

    Obviously it will be important to make shure the Republican ticket is not held by real enemies of freedom and the constitution like McCain.


  6. Fortuno would be a great candidate for 2012! Puerto Rico the 51st State of the union! More power to States less to the Central Government! Lets make the United States truly a union of nations :D