WASHINGTON, July 11, 2014 — While Democrat Hillary Clinton clings to her role as frontrunner for the nomination of her party for president in 2016, the Republicans have no clear candidate. From Chris Christie to Rand Paul to numerous others, no candidate seems to be able to gather the support of the majority, even though we are still almost two years away from the beginning of the process.
Each of the candidates who has expressed an interest in running has some very appealing traits. Since the economy in general as well as government spending, taxation and the deficit are problems of great concern, Paul Ryan looks formidable because of his experience in these budget matters.
Because the country is more divided today than perhaps at any time in history, Chris Christie looks appealing. He has shown that he generally adheres to conservative principles, but showed during the Hurricane Sandy disaster that he can work with people on both sides of the aisle to achieve results.
Immigration reform is also a major problem. Here Senator Marco Rubio is attractive because of his heritage and his ability to represent the Hispanic population. He also comes from swing state Florida which broadens his appeal.
Perhaps Jeb Bush would work for the Republicans. He too has Florida support, understands immigration and has a heritage from the Bush family. He does however, have a more moderate position that some Republicans would like.
Other Republicans want a candidate who is very conservative. Someone like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz would work for those Republicans.
Then there is the possibility of Ben Carson. If the Affordable Care Act has imploded completely by 2016 or if the courts rule some or most of the law is ultimately illegal, Ben Carson may have strong appeal.
Add in John Bolton, John Huntsman, Mike Huckabee or Bobby Jindal, and it is easy to see why no candidate has wide enough appeal to win the nomination.
Without a clear front runner, will the party turn to Mitt?
Romney may turn out to be the most electable candidate. He is generally well liked. He is mostly conservative with moderation. Some argue he is not conservative enough and candidates like that will lose. But the reality is that he is a compassionate conservative, which may be exactly what is needed in 2016.
The American people may be looking for a healer who can bridge the great divide between Democrats and Republicans. Americans may seek a candidate who can restore trust in government while truly being transparent and who understands the position of both sides on critical issues. Americans may seek a candidate who understands America’s role as the only super-power left in the world today. Romney can be the person.
He is very well known by most Americans. He came within a whisker of winning the election in 2012 and may have been successful if the organizations supporting him were free to express their views. Most importantly he has experience in bringing both sides together. He was, after all, a Republican governor in Massachusetts where 80% of the legislators were Democrats. Still he was able to pass significant legislation including a plan to solve the health care issue.
In the area of foreign affairs Romney seems to be the right person at this time. His view was always similar to Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy who followed the philosophy of “peace through strength” rather than the “turn the other cheek” view of the current administration. After all there are only so many times your cheek can be slapped.
Romney will stand up to Putin and the Chinese and the North Koreans and to ISIS. While he recognizes that military action is the least desirable option, it is none-the-less, an option. Today our enemies believe that the US will not use our tremendous military advantage. As such our enemies move freely about and we become less secure. In 2016, Americans may want a President who can restore our national security.
With regard to the economy he understands that a smaller role for government with less taxation and more freedom will unleash the American enterprise machine so that the economy can grow more quickly. That will create more higher-paying jobs which will provide opportunity for all Americans; opportunity we have not seen since 2007 . He also understands that Americans have a social responsibility to those less fortunate. For his entire life, he has always freely contributed more than 10% of his earnings to charity to demonstrate that responsibility.
I think if we carefully examine the needs of the country, the problems that must be solved and the person who is right for the job, Mitt’s the one.